The second running of the Angkor Empire Marathon around the breath-taking sights of the Angkor Wat Temple complex in Siem Reap on Sunday has attracted a modest increase in overseas participation.
As per the latest registration figures made available to the Post by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, close to 1,200 runners from 48 countries will line up for the 42km charity run, a 20 per cent rise compared with the inaugural run on August 17 last year.
With expats and the locals joining in, the number of participants for the marathon and the supporting half marathon, along with the 10K run, is expected to get past 3,000.
Cambodia is among the 100 countries and territories staging the marathons every year, but few can match the historical and architectural significance of a World Heritage site and the natural scenic beauty that the running route offers around the sprawling temple complex.
The Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS), a member-based organisation of over 350 of world’s leading road races marked out the route last year and has carried out a few readjustments for this run to make the experience even more exciting.
Japan’s “Owarai” comedian Neko Hiroshi, who became a Cambodian citizen more than three years ago, won for his adopted country the inaugural run and is hoping for a repeat success.
He finished sixth in the recently held SEA Games in Singapore.
The Phnom Penh-based French tutor Veronique Messina, winner of multiple half marathons including the May 31 Phnom Penh International Half marathon, topped the women’s run last year.