Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Couple run the distance




Couple run the distance

Couple run the distance

American Jeff Dean and his Canadian wife Nathalie Samson completed their 500-kilometre run across Cambodia on Thursday afternoon, ending their 11-day mission to help the cause of clean water access in rural areas.

The couple set out from Stung Treng province on a route that followed the course of the Mekong River, ending in Prey Veng province.

“Eleven days and 11 marathons,” said Dean, recalling their incredible feat of endurance.

Taking heart from their previous 240km run between Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear temple last year, the Ottawa-based pair chose to return for a more challenging run along the Mekong in the hope that their exploits would yield greater benefits for the cause they were championing. Their charity organisation One Filter One Family helps provide wells and bio-sand filters for selected villages in the Kingdom.   

Both Jeff and Nathalie are counting this as a success well beyond their own estimation.

“We have seen and experienced a Cambodia that is very special,” Dean told The Post on Thursday.

“The run was epic in its scenery, taught us more about managing sports hydration needs, challenged us with a scorpion sting, a dog bite, a few running-induced strains and pain ... and filled us with the laughter and smiles of the Cambodian people which we will carry in our mind’s eye forever.”

The runners revealed they were made to feel most welcome by the families that they stayed with during their trip.

“We were overwhelmed by this hospitality,” said Dean.

The couple conceded their run would not have been a success without the support of Paul Hufford and Bunna from the Australian Firefighters International, who drove with them for the entire distance. Dean claimed their “route choice was amazing and exactly what we’d hoped for, and more”.

They also gave special thanks to the Trailblazers Foundation, an organisation that shares the same goals as One Filter One Family, which they have supported for the past two years.

“We will continue [to help support this cause] whenever we can,” said Dean, hinting of another epic journey to come.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’