Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Full marathon around Angkor Wat ready to roll next year

Full marathon around Angkor Wat ready to roll next year

Full marathon around Angkor Wat ready to roll next year

The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia is awaiting formal Royal Government approval to organise the Kingdom’s first full marathon in September next year around the world famous Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap.

A large number of overseas and local runners who regularly take part in the annual Angkor Wat International Half Marathon have been strongly urging the country’s prime sports body to introduce a conventional 42km race. Their wish has seemingly been granted.

Runners race through a gate of the Angkor Thom temple complex during the 2011 Angkor Wat International Half Marathon in Siem Reap
Runners race through a gate of the Angkor Thom temple complex during the 2011 Angkor Wat International Half Marathon in Siem Reap. SRENG MENG SRUN

The NOCC began working on the logistics in January and since then has drawn up an action plan as well as a proposed running route that captures the World Heritage Site and its breath-taking antiquity and greenery in all
its glory.

Even before its official announcement, enthusiasm for the full marathon event has been so overwhelming that as many as 100 overseas runners have already confirmed their participation. Word is spreading so fast that not a day has passed in the last two months without someone from somewhere in the world indicating interest to take part.

Most of the half marathon participants the Post spoke to after last Sunday’s inaugural Thansur Bokor International Half Marathon said they were excited about a full marathon in Siem Reap and couldn’t wait for it to happen.

“We are ready with our organisational plan. We are in the process of finalising the sponsors. The route has already been worked out. For years, national and international runners have been craving for a full marathon,” NOCC secretary general Vath Chamroeun, who was appointed for a second term in office earlier this month, told the Post on Sunday.

“We have sent the proposal and the blueprint to the Royal Government and we expect formal approval soon. The annual Angkor Wat International Half Marathon will continue and now we offer another exciting option and open another big window of opportunity to help charitable causes,” Chamroeun added.

According to a press release issued by the NOCC yesterday, the 18th edition of the Siem Reap road race will be held on December 1.

“Until [yesterday], we already got the registration of 3,000 international runners from 58 countries and more than 1,000 Cambodian runners,” it stated.

The event is set to celebrate 60 years of friendship between Japan and Cambodia.

Three staff workers of Japanese daily newspaper Sankei Sports conceived the half marathon in 1996, with non-profit organisation Heart of Gold established two years later to help with its running.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAN RILEY

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