Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Runners set for city race

Runners set for city race

Runners set for city race

The Olympic Day Phnom Penh Half Marathon, commemor-ating the 117th anniversary of the formation of the International Olympic Council as well as the birthday of Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk and World Environment Day, will begin at 6am tomorrow in front of the NagaWorld Complex.

The blue-riband event in the Nat-ional Olympic Committee of Cambodia’s annual athletics calendar is supported by several ministries including Education, Youth & Sports, Environment, Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation, Information, and Tourism.

The Phnom Penh Municipality, local environmental NGOs, some foreign embassies and several sporting clubs have also pitched in to help.

“This is a unique confluence of three major landmarks, launching our inaugural edition of the International Phnom Penh Half Marathon after last year’s test run,” NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun told the Post yesterday.

Olympic Day runs are held by nat-ional Olympic committees around  the globe between June 17 and 24 to help promote mass participation in sport.

World Environment Day, which falls on June 5, celebrates mankind’s quest for a cleaner, greener and brighter fut-ure. National celebrations will mark the Queen’s official birthday tomorrow.

“Her Majesty the Queen is blessing this event with a US$2,000 donation [to the half marathon organising committee],” Vath Chamroeun said.

He revealed that 1,500 runners had been registered for tomorrow’s event, although only 15 had travelled from abroad to compete.

“We have two categories:  the men’s and women’s 21km and 5km runs. The route chosen this year has been designed to make the event both challenging and enjoyable,” Vath Chamroeun said.

Both men’s and women’s half marathons carry cash prizes of $1,000, $700 and $500 for the top three finishers respectively.

Rewards of $50, $30 and $25 are on offer for podium places in the men’s and women’s 5km run.

As part of the Olympic Day Phnom Penh Half Marathon celebrations, Wat Phnom is the venue for a recycling programme, a cultural show and an international environmental exhibition.

The British embassy, meanwhile, is showcasing the 2012 London Olympics in is own novel way.

British ambassador to the Kingdom Andrew Mace and members of his staff will take part in the 5km run to drive home the Olympic Day message and illuminate the road to London.

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