Over 6,000 amateur and professional runners tackled the 9th Phnom Penh International Half Marathon yesterday morning in celebration of the Birthday of Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk and raising thousands for charity in the process.
According to reports, in addition to locals, more than 500 foreigners from 35 nations also participated in the latest edition of the annual event. The number is an improvement on last year’s event, where 5,000 runners took on the route in the Cambodian capital.
The annual race coincides with the celebration of the Birthday of Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, in conjunction with World Environment Day, as well as to commemorate Olympic Day.
The Phnom Penh International Half Marathon is divided into three categories: a 3 km fun run, a 10km run and a 21km half marathon for more seasoned competitors.
The event, organised by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia and Cambodia Events Organizer and with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, raised money for the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals.
The NOCC is hoping to have 10,000 runners lining up at the starting line at next year’s event.
Siem Reap hosts two marathons recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Road Races – the Angkor International Half Marathon, which last year saw over 10,000 participants, and the Khmer Empire Full Marathon.
Ministers have long regarded the kingdom’s numerous marathons as vital in cultivating Cambodia’s burgeoning sports-related tourism sector.
“International tourist arrivals have increased every year, especially in Siem Reap, a world-class tourist destination, said Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and chairman of the NOCC, at the close of the 2017 edition.
“Cambodia is developing Siem Reap to become one of the world’s most attractive tourist destinations. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world.”