Siem Reap’s inaugural waiters’ race got off to a flying start on Monday, in celebration of Bastille Day. Cheered on by supporters from the hospitality industry, expats, tourists and some curious Khmer, 80 waiters raced along a 3k route from the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort to the Royal Gardens and back again, carefully carrying trays of drinks.
Sofitel marketing executive Gaelle Bigeard said, “A lot of smiles were seen, laughs heard and encouragement shouted by the managers and team members showcasing a delightful team spirit. Therefore, we can announce that the waiters’ race was a great success.”
Each participant carried a tray of three glasses filled to the brim with coloured water – one red, one white and one blue, naturally, in honour of the French national holiday. Prizes were awarded for first, second, third, fourth and fifth place for men and women, plus separate prizes for the ‘time winner’ and ‘water winner’.
“I believe they were all winners as they all managed to run 3km holding a tray with three filled glasses on it and still very proudly passed the finishing line,” says Bigeard. “Some finished with more water than others, some faster than others, some more tired than others.
“However, who the winners were was a real surprise until the last minute, as not only the time counted but also the water left in the glasses. A time penalty was given for each milliliter less in the glass. Five very proud gentleman and five very proud ladies went on the podium in addition to the other winners who performed the best time and the least spillage.”
Chhom Sreysom from Angkor Village Resort and Spa took first place for the ladies, with Rien Sophean from Shinta Mani representing the men. ‘Best time’ was Pren Makara from Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa, while Sao Rithy from FCC Angkor took the prize for least water spillage.
Bigeard says the turnout was so successful – places filled within two weeks and Sofitel had to actually turn away people – the race is sure to continue next year.