Search form

Gutsy triathlon venture across Cambodia

Gutsy triathlon venture across Cambodia

Last Saturday, Detroit man Sam McGoun started a 625km triathlon venture across Cambodia, from the remote fishing village of Mechrey outside Siem Reap to Sihanoukville. He will swim, run and cycle the entire route, and is scheduled to finish today.

His objective is to raise awareness of human trafficking in Cambodia, and to raise $30,000 for Sala Baï, a hospitality training school in Siem Reap.

Since June last year, McGoun, a vice-president at American Express in Singapore, has taken a year out of his career to commit himself to supporting Sala Baï, replacing the relentless pressure of work with an arguably equally intense training program that will enable him to run for over four hours each morning and cycle the remainder of the average of 100km per day required to complete the journey.

But on the second day, he had to cover 140km after a routing error.

The 36 year old’s extraordinary resolve comes from the very students he hopes to support. “Hearing about the challenges these guys have overcome inspires you to do something really out of the ordinary,” he said.

Jean Paul Dethomas, the director of Sala Baï, agreed. “The only condition these kids suffer from is being born poor. They are bright, dedicated and working really hard to escape that condition.”

McGoun started his first day with a half-hour swim in the Tonle Sap. It seemed prudent not to tell him that the lake is the source of the largest snake harvest in the world before he went in though.

The second leg was a run from Chong Kneas into Siem Reap, past Sala Baï where students cheered him on and then hopped on their bikes to accompany him to Angkor Wat. From there he rode 70km to Kampong Kdey.

McGoun is undaunted by the difficulties posed by the weather and the heat. . “I train in Singapore where we’ve got 100 per cent humidity”, he said. “I’m used to sweating.”


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all