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Kulen Mountain Trek-Run all set to make history

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Angkor Tiger FC players and others practice their running skills at Kulen Mountain. Supplied

The Kulen Mountain Trek-Run will be making history this coming October 10 as the first such event to be held in that part of Siem Reap.

Known locally as Phnom Kulen, the mountain range stretches for more than 40 kilometres north of Siem Reap city. Kulen Mountain forms part of the Phnom Kulen National Park, one of Cambodia’s protected areas. The area is known for being rich in flora and fauna, in addition to hosting a well-known waterfall and many historical locations, structures and artifacts.

In an interview, Takahisa Kiyone, sales manager of Angkor Tiger football club, said they are happy and eager to support the Kulen Mountain Trek-Run.

Angkor Tiger FC, one of the teams playing in Cambodia’s top-tier Metfone Cambodian League, have recently joined as one of the partners for the event. To support the event, Angkor Tiger FC players banded together to develop a promotional video that will be released this month. The players also did some test-running in the area.

The Kulen Mountain Trek-Run is being organised by the Ministry of Environment in partnership with private business and organisations.

Peng Huoth Group, Asian Gateway, Bouken, Agrisud International (Cambodia), Archeology & Development Foundation, Royal Angkor Hospital, Kampot Spring Water, Pisey Peo’s Import-Export, Aforative Media, Courtyard Siem Reap Resort by Marriott, The Natural Homestay, Chicken Claypot, NT Sports and Green G8 are helping organise or sponsor the competition.

Local government agencies and other non-profit organisations such as the Apsara Authority have also extended their support.

Kiyone noted that it is the only sports event anywhere that promote environmental awareness, responsible management and eco-tourism in Kulen Mountain.

He stressed that the event, which is open to both local and foreign participants, will go a long way in helping revive the tourism industry and protect the environment of Siem Reap and nearby areas.

The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected the tourism industry in Siem Reap, the site of the world-famous Angkor Wat temples and Cambodia’s leading tourist destination. Businesses have closed and many people there have lost their jobs since tourists stopped coming in February.

There is also a need to promote environmental awareness, with the ever-increasing logging, poaching and other harmful activities reported in and around Siem Reap.

Jessie Atienza, the director and co-founder of Green-G8 who also is also the event director, thanked Angkor Tiger FC, Ministry of Environment and other sponsors and partners for their support. “We are working together towards its success,” he said, particularly mentioning Secretary of State Sao Sopheap of the Ministry of the Environment.

The two categories for the race are: 18km Amateur / Semi Pro Trek-Run and 8km Happy Trek-Run.

It was learned earlier that a group of trail runners from Hong Kong was interested in flying in and joining the race. Unfortunately, they were forced to cancel because of the pandemic, but promised to come back with a bigger number next year.

Temple ruins, cashew plantations, river crossings, local communities and other sceneries are scattered along the route of the race.

“We are encouraging people to join the adventure race. They will have fun and will see. At the same time they will contribute to the preservation of Cambodia’s natural beauty and resources,” Kiyone added.

Deadline for registration is on September 10. For more information, you may visit the event website www.kulenmountaintrekrun.com.

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