Saeki Makino of Japan and Nic Amhlaoibh Maire of Ireland top their respective categories in the main event of the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon held over the weekend in Siem Reap province.
More than 12,000 runners from 80 plus countries participated in the marathon, which is Cambodia’s biggest and most prestigious running event. Participants came from as far as the United States, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Russia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Philippines, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Italy, and Switzerland.
Last year’s edition of the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon dew more than 10,500 participants.
Makino placed first in the men’s 21km category with a time of 1:07:36. Fabian Downs of Switzerland followed with a time of 1:09:30, while Samuel Fletcher of the US finished third after clocking 1:09:34.
The race between the three, who are known globally for their running prowess, was close throughout, with Makino edging Downs and Fletcher at the finish line.
Makino has won many marathons all over the world, including the Phnom Penh International Half Marathon this year and running competitions in Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand.
Fletcher and Downs are also regulars in the international marathon circuit.
Maire, meanwhile, edged Marina Matsura of Japan to take home the crown in the 21km women’s category with a time of 1:24:55. Matsura placed second after clocking 1:28: 24, while the third place went to Hannah Bocksnick of Canada (1:29:19).
Maire also topped the same race two years ago and finished second last year behind Australia’s Bec Rosel.
Vann Pheara of Cambodia (0:35:12) topped the men’s 10km race, followed by Hiroyuki Miyazaki of Japan (0:35:45) and Sok Chesda of Cambodia (0:37:10).
In the women’s 10km race, the winners were Rosel Bec of Australia (0:38:30), Botum Por of Cambodia (0:46:44) and Taing Sophie of Cambodia (0:49:44).
Sov Cheatola of Cambodia topped the men’s 5km with a time of 0:16:56, followed by Em Moeun of Cambodia (0:19:18) and Chan Leanghak of Cambodia (0:19:23).
In the women’s category of the 5km race, the first place went to Sopheap Koin of Cambodia (0:25:31), followed by Annika Galloway of the US (0:25:59) and Katherine Ortiz of the US (0:26:02).
The event also featured races for the disabled.
The atmosphere around Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s most famous tourist destination, was a festive one with thousands of people from all over the world mingling together for the day.
The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon has become a yearly tradition, not only for Cambodians, but also for foreigners, including some of the best runners in the world.
“We are very happy to be part of the race. For us, this is both a vacation and a competition,” said Kohi from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who came along with four other Malaysians and competed in 10km women’s category.
The event is primarily held to raise funds for various charitable causes benefiting underprivileged Cambodians.
The event is organised by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia with Manulife as its principal sponsor.