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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inaugural half marathon set for an ascent of Bokor

Riders race during the Thansur Bokor Challenge in Kampot province on May 5
Riders race during the Thansur Bokor Challenge in Kampot province on May 5. BOBBY VICERAL

Inaugural half marathon set for an ascent of Bokor

The breathtaking Bokor mountain, the crowning glory of Teuk Chhou district in Kampot province, provides an exciting and unique setting for the inaugural Thansur Bokor International Half Marathon and Bike Race on the weekend of October 26-27.

Organised by Thansur Bokor Hotel and Resorts, an affiliate of the renowned Sokha Hotel Group, with the active involvement of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, the half marathon affords international and local athletes a rare opportunity to explore the mystical beauty of the mountain while catching a glimpse of some 20th century architectural excellence.

“Part of the proceeds will go to charitable causes, notably Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital. Our motive is to promote sport tourism and protect nature [while] at the same time support Cambodian children,” Thansur Bokor General Manager Michael Brabsche said at a media conference at the NOCC headquarters on Wednesday.

“With the Royal Government granting permission to the Sokha Group to build asphalt road from the foot of the mountain to the summit, visitors can now get access to amazing scenery combining a view of the sea, forestry and vegetation. This charity run on October 27 will be an unforgettable experience for participants,” he added.

The first of its kind 21km hill run – along with 10km and 5km road races and a 3km fun run – assumes the added significance of becoming Cambodia’s fourth international charity run following the illustrious examples of annual Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville events.

Around 500 runners have registered so far in various categories and the organisers expect that number to double by the registration deadline of October 23.

“The NOCC is happy that the country can now promote another international charity run. This is a big boost for sport tourism in the country, a sector which is a top priority for us,” NOCC Secretary General Vath Chamroeun, who was recently promoted to under secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism, told the Post.

Response from local and international bikers for the October 26 mountain climb, named the Preah Monivong Bokor Cycling Challenge, has also been encouraging.

Buoyed by the success of a similar event held on May 5, the biking community is agog with excitement and the organisers have put in place four different categories to cover men, women and children of all ages and riding skills.

An Elite class competition over 50km for men is open to experienced road bike riders while in open categories for veterans (40 and over) and other age groups, the riders have been given a choice between road and mountain bikes.

The women’s event over 30km is expected to attract the country’s top riders, some of whom will be representing Cambodia for the first time in the forthcoming Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.

The winners in both the running and cycling events will receive trophies, medals and other prizes while every participant will get an event souvenir medal.

Online registration for both running and cycling can be done through www.thansurbokor.com/preah-monivong.bokor-marathon, on the official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PreahMonivongBokorMarathon) or via www.instagram.com/preahmonivongbokormarathon#.

Registrations can also be made by phone with Sokha Club Hotel, Phnom Penh (023990123), Sokha Angkor Resort, Siem Reap (063969999), Sokha Beach Resort, Sihanouk Ville (034935999) and Thansur Bokor Highland Resort, Kampot (0336838888).

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