Siem Reap, Cambodia – Angkor Wat International Half-marathon

Greetings from Siem Reap, Cambodia! We’ve been super busy checking out the town, lounging by the pool and of course exploring the Angkor temple ruins. More on all that in later posts.

First I want to share with you the main reason for this trip to Cambodia. The Angkor Wat International Half-marathon which took place earlier today. It is a race with a purpose. It raises awareness and “supports a ban on the manufacture and inhumane use of antipersonnel mines”. It raises funds to support victims of landmines by helping to provide prosthetic limbs, social reintegration programs and other needed programs. And you get to do all that good while running a race through 1000 year old temple ruins. Sign me up!

I did exactly that several months ago not thinking that all of our travelling would impact on my training very much; because after all, one of my favourite things to do in a new city is to go for a run and get a glimpse of local life. But that was not the case during our three weeks of travel through China as it was so hectic and exhausting that I wasn’t able to fit in my training. Making a wise decision (I keep telling myself that so that I won’t be disappointed), I switched to running in the 10K category. I was so thankful for this wise decision at 5km (and not even 7am!) when the temperature was almost 30 celsius. Despite the heat, this race is the most extraordinary and memorable race I have ever run in. I think the half-marathon might still be in my future.

***Excuse the poor quality of the photos. Taken on an iphone and some with poor lighting.

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Getting into place as the sun rises behind Angkor Wat

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Runners heading through a 1000 year old gate

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Passing a flooded forest along the course

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My cheering squad

Oh and I should also mention that there’s a pre-race dinner where every year UNESCO grants permission for a dinner party for several hundred people to be located at one of the temple ruin sites. This year the dinner was set in front of the majestic Angkor Thom. Eating dinner while staring at a 1000 year old temple ruin and entertained by traditional Khmer performances was certainly memorable.

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Lit up temple and tables. Only source of light for several kilometres. Quite the feat considering only 26% of Cambodians have access to electricity.

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Traditional apsara dancers in front of Angkor Thom temple ruins

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The necessary family photo

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I wish I had a better camera and better camera skills to capture this view. I wish I could show you the beautiful starry night that was the backdrop to this magnificent lit up temple ruin that monks honoured their faiths in 1000 years ago.

 

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6 thoughts on “Siem Reap, Cambodia – Angkor Wat International Half-marathon

  1. Awestruck by the simple beauty and timeless tales of the past! So glad you had a chance to experience it and that you were smart enough to downgrade your run and not end up with injuries to ruin your time abroad.

    Liked by 1 person

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