Half Marathon in Angkor Wat

One year ago I travelled to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to attend my first ever Half Marathon. I had been training hard for it during the previous 12 weeks, my training existed of running one day and doing cardio the next. It all went pretty well and my time became faster and faster.

Getting closer to the date however, I was so afraid I would not be able to make it. Luckily I would be meeting up with a friend who never ran a half marathon either, so we were equally scared of what the run would bring us…

I arrived in Siem Reap the day before the run, after a long journey from Phuket. Upon arrival I dropped my stuff in the hotel and headed out to explore the city a little bit. In the evening I had to go and register for the event. Which appeared not to be an easy task to do, as there are several categories and hundreds of people that participate in the run. After finally finding my starting number, I was able to go in and slowly make my way around the room to pick up my running number and a chip for my shoe to keep track of my run and several souvenirs. It all started getting very real. Luckily my friend arrived at the registration office, which made my attempt to skip the whole event impossible!

01.Registration

The evening before the event we went out for a hearty dinner with pasta to make sure we would have enough energy for the run the next morning. We would be gathering in front of the hotel at 6AM, so that we would be at the starting point in time…

The half marathon in Siem Reap is like no other as it set in such a stunning location. The start of the marathon is in front of the Angkor Wat temple, which is a great start of any day. Once the countdown begins, everyone starts to run off into the wonderful world of beautiful temples. After Angkor Wat you run to Ta Prohm, Bayon, Angkor Thom and many other wonderful temples. It’s just too bad you don’t have time to stop and snap a photo!

02.RunningMap

You almost forget that you have to run those 21km to get back to where you started. The kids on the side of the road cheer you on along the entire way, at the same time they are very smart to collect all the water bottles the runners have finished, so they can exchange them later on in the day. By the end of the marathon you start running back to Angkor Wat.

This was so great, as you know you’re getting closer to the finish line. You can see the temple from afar and it makes you want to run faster to finish. Besides that more and more people gather around the finish area and everyone is cheering you on to finish those 21.1km as soon as possible. It’s such a wonderful feeling to do a marathon on this special location. And I am very happy I did my first half marathon in this location – and all of this with a personal record of 2hrs01min!!!

03.Running

This year the Angkor Wat Marathon will be held on the 7th of December. I am sure it will just as great of an event as last year, and I am sure sad that I won’t be there to witness it this year {even though I am very happy I don’t have to run it again at this moment!}. Once you sign up for this event you automatically help the victims of antipersonnel mines in Cambodia, as proceeds from this event are being given to this charity. Besides the 21km there are also several other race categories such as the 3km Family Fun Run and the 10km run. Take a look at the official Angkor Wat Marathon here. If you’re interested in running a half marathon, I would recommend running your first one in Siem Reap. It is truly an amazing experience!

For everyone participating this weekend; good luck and have fun! 

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