Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Angkor Wat gearing up for 10,000 runners



Angkor Wat gearing up for 10,000 runners

Competitors compete in last year’s Angkor Wat Half Marathon.
Competitors compete in last year’s Angkor Wat Half Marathon.

Angkor Wat gearing up for 10,000 runners

The 21st running of the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, and other added attractions around the sprawling World Heritage site in Siem Reap on Sunday, is set to beat all previous records, with the organisers keenly anticipating the number of total participants to get close to or even surpass the 10,000 mark.

In keeping with the trends of the past four to five years, there has been an unprecedented rush of excitement among both overseas runners and locals for the Kingdom’s most popular and truly global sporting event, which offers no purse but tons of pride as a run for noble causes at the height of the tourist season.

Less than 250 runners from 14 countries lined up for the inaugural run in 1996, but that number reached a staggering 8,500 last year, nearly half of whom were from abroad, hailing from 75 countries, boosting expectations of a five-figure turnout this year.

Jointly organised by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia in association with several government agencies and sports bodies, the technical and supervisory aspects of the event will be handled by the Cambodia Events Management Group under the watchful eye of the Angkor Wat Marathon Executive Committee.

Over the past 20 years, the event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for social and charitable causes, and the introduction of a pledge system a few years ago has resulted in further donations.

The proceeds of this run will go to charitable institutions like the Cambodian Red Cross and CMAC, an organisation dedicated to clearing landmines. The other beneficiaries include NGOs pursuing social causes.

The traditional half-marathon day card includes a 10km run for men and women, along with a 3km fun run for people of all ages and athletic ability.

The main attraction is the winding trip around the temple precincts. Nowhere else in the world can runners soak up the experience of being in the middle of such spectacular ancient monuments, sights and scenic beauty.

“We would like to keep enhancing this unique experience,” Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the NOCC, told the Post yesterday. “We have also realised the importance of ensuring safety for the runners, and also their healthcare and needs, while laying greater emphasis on environmental aspects” he said.

“I do expect more local people, especially students, in bigger numbers this year, taking inspiration from the participation of Nary Ly and Neko Hiroshi at the Rio Olympics’’ he said.

Last year, Australian Fraser Thompson, a resident of Singapore, went to Siem Reap as a weekend getaway with his wife but returned home as the winner of the 20th edition.

In a pleasant coincidence, another Singaporean, Vivian Tang, won the women’s version on a day when a record 8,500 participants swamped the sprawling World Heritage site for the 21km charity run and various other added attractions.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Nearly 2,000 detained for Phnom Penh curfew breach

    Nearly 2,000 people were detained in the capital for violating the curfew imposed by the government and Phnom Penh Municipal Administration. Municipal police spokesman San Sokseyha told The Post on May 16 that people were detained in two phases. In phase one, the government locked down Phnom