Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Capital’s running chef eyes Angkor success

Capital’s running chef eyes Angkor success

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Capital’s running chef eyes Angkor success

In a setting far removed from his native Dima village in rural Gojjam province in Ethiopia’s northwest, long-distance runner Andarge Ayal Tamiru donned his running shoes once again for a 5km practice run around Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium track.

Though somewhat disappointed with his performance, he is expecting to post a solid time in the 10km race at Sunday’s Angkor Wat Marathon.

The 28-year-old, who works as a chef at Phnom Pen’s Sara restaurant, bemoans the fact that work commitments have curtailed his ability to train as hard as he would like, but he insists he will be out to win.

“As I work as a chef in Phnom Penh, I haven’t been able to train for a few months – but I can run. I will be trying my best on Sunday despite my lack of training. Of course I want to win.”

He is also targeting the 2017 Angkor Wat International Half Marathon this December.

Tamiru says that finding a sponsor to help with travel expenses and equipment is essential if he is to continue running in the Kingdom’s serious competitions.

“If I find a club or sponsor it would great, for it is better for me if I run,” he said. “My family would be happy for me if I could run full-time – even if they lose a chef!”

The ongoing situation in Yemen saw his family move from the capital Sana’a to Cambodia in February. Tamiru arrived only two months ago from Sana’a, where he used to accompany Yemeni long-distance runners on training runs, and he last raced properly in November in qualifying for a Yemeni competition.

Because of this, he is reluctant to predict a time, but says he would be happy enough with anything under 45min on Sunday. But he says that in better condition he would be confident of clocking between 30-35min.
According to fitness website livestrong.com, elite athletes will finish a 10km race in 30 minutes and under.

Tamiru recorded a time of 16:28 in his 5km practice run of 10 laps of the Olympic Stadium track on Monday. That same pace over a 10km race would see him clock around 33min. The 10km run at the Angkor Half Marathon in December was won in a time of 35.37.

The humble but confident Tamiru (pictured, John Clamp) has been running competitively since school. He says he has always loved running, but after seeing heroes such as legendary compatriot Haile Gebrselassie achieve sporting greatness, his passion soared.

“In Gojjam province, everbody runs. It is part of the culture as there is no public transport or bikes,” he explains. “A farmer will run to his fields for work and back home at the end of the day, for example.”

This fuels the belief of the 1m 75 (5ft 7in), 61kg (134.4lb) Tamiru, who has the rangy, slender physique ideal for long-distance runners. “I am confident of doing well on Sunday, and maybe even of winning,” he says.

When told that the Angkor Wat International 10km race was won in a time of 35.37 last December, Tamiru replied with a shy smile: “Well, I’ll have to finish quicker than that then.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,