Growing overseas interest and enthusiastic local response will considerably boost participation numbers in the second Sihanoukville Angkor Beer International Half Marathon, which roars into action at the tourist-friendly Ochheuteal Beach on Sunday morning.
The port city is the third in Cambodia to stage an international charity run after the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon in Siem Reap and the Phnom Penh International Half Marathon.
“We are set to surpass last year’s number of 1,150 by a few more hundred and throwing the event open to students for free should make the field a lot bigger. We had 100 overseas runners in the inaugural event and we expect to see that double,” National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun told the Post yesterday.
No sporting event captures the coastal beauty of Sihanoukville like the half marathon, which snakes its way past popular beach fronts like Sokha, Independence and Victory while touching the country’s only deep sea port during its 21-kilometre route.
It is at the famed Ochheuteal Beach that the showpiece half marathon and four other supporting races – 3km, 5km, 10km runs and a 3km walk – begin and end.
The event will raise funds for charitable causes like education for under privileged children through the Cambodian Red Cross and other NGOs while spreading a vital environmental message on protection of nature.
An added attraction this year is the introduction of a Khun Khmer boxing competition which generally draws huge crowds. The organisers have also made arrangements for food and drinks stalls to be set up at various vantage points.