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Date set for Angkor race

091022_22
Last year's Angkor Wat Half Marathon champ Hem Bunting at Olympic Stadium.

Organisers have announced the date for the annual half marathon

THE 14th edition of the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon (AWHM) will be held December 6 in Siem Reap, organisers have announced. Also slated are numerous other races the same day and the day before, including wheelchair, bike and walking races and a family fun run.

The 21-kilometre course will begin in front of the iconic Angkor Wat structure, and runs past famous temple complexes such as the Bayon, the Elephant Terrace, Ta Keo and Ta Prohm, before returning to the start line.

The race was first organised in 1996 by Runner’s Aid, a Japanese NGO that stages sporting events to help fund the production of artificial limbs for developing countries. According to the AWHM official Web site, 2,593 runners competed in the event last year representing 43 different countries, which organisers hailed as a great success.

Sem Phalla, general secretary of the AWHM Committee, hopes to see yet another increase in participation this year. “We especially encourage the victims of land mines and people who live with HIV/AIDS to join the event,” he said, calling for an end to discrimination in society.

Reigning men’s champion Hem Bunting of Cambodia completed the course last year in an impressive 1 hour, 13 minutes, with America’s Brent Roeger less than a minute behind. America’s Melissa Todd recorded a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes to take the women’s title, with Britain’s Catherine Howell in second. The current men’s world record stands at 58 minutes, 33 seconds, set by Kenya’s Samuel Wanjiru in 2007 in The Hague.

Deadline of registration is November 23, with local runners given considerable concessions. Register online at www.angkormarathon.org.

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