25 years of the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon
This historical marathon event to Cambodian people was planned to start in 1995, but it could realize from 1996 with the main purpose of raising fund to support and encourage the landmine victims who survived after a long civil war to take normal lives as others. The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon was also set up for the purpose of consolidating the nation and intimate friendship with all the people around the world. That’s why we choose the running course in the center of ancient capital of the Khmer Empire – The Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom temples complex ( dating from 12th -16th Centuries ). The Angkor Wat temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century and greatly extended the temples complex of Angkor Thom by the King Jayavarman VII, recognized as one of the most powerful king in the Angkor Empire era.
First event of Angkor Wat International Half Marathon just few hundred runners participated and until 24th year event on 08 December 2019, it got over 11,550 runners from 85 countries participated.
For the last 24 years, group wheel chaired and disabled runners of 21k and 10 k always start in advance, recognized as a great concern from organizer and all participants of the event. The running Ambassador of this event is Ms. Yuko Arimori, Olympic medalist and president of Hearts of Gold NGO in Cambodia.
Runners who participated in the race have enjoyed a unique experience ancient atmosphere on a running road through 13 ancient temples along the beautiful forested course in the cool weather of an early morning in December. Starting and finishing line in front of the Angkor Wat with categories of 21K, 10K, 5K and family fun run 3k, all runners have an opportunity to get their beautiful photos of event with Angkor Wat temple (a national symbol, appearing on the Cambodian flag) as special back ground.
The course of 21k first head south and turn along the moat surrounding the Angkok Wat and turn right to make a U-turn near check point of entrance at a distance of 3.4km, then forward east to the small circuit of temples complex by passing Kravan temple of 10th century and turn left at the distance of 11km at the ancient pool of Sras Srang and Banteay Kdey temple. Then forward west to the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom at a distance of 16km by passing group temples of Takeo, Taprohm, Taney, Thaomanon, Chausey Tevada. Angkor Thom cover s an area of nine square kilometers. At its centre is King Jayavarman VII’s state temple, the Bayon, but just before reaching it, runners should pass by the 350m long Terrace of Elephants. This was used as an platform for the King Jayavarman VII to ride his Elephants to the battle fields as well as to view his victorious returning army or viewing the army parade in some ceremonies of his time. Runners exit Angkor Thom South Gate with about 1.5km left to run until they reach the finish line in front of the Angkor Wat.
All runners were really happy and appreciated the preparing facilities along the course from organizer. Every 2Km , we have water station with water ,energy drink and bananas. biker- staffs have escorted runners on the entire course. Yes, the race is getting better than ever since the last 23 years. Number of runners are increasing from 10% to 15 % year by year. As the organizer, we are looking for the figure of runners up to more than ten thousand by the near future. In the 23rd event, we have raised fund up to 105,031.50 USD for charity to disabled people and poor children in the hospitals.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we would like to express our deepest gratitude and sincere thanks to all runners and supporters and donors to the Angkor Wat International Half marathon in the last 25 years. We are waiting to welcome the runners to our coming event on Sunday 02 January 2022.