PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – Cambodia’s 2015 Angkor Empire Marathon took place around the famed Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap, with over 2,700 runners testing their endurance in the Sunday morning event.
1,250 Cambodians were joined by more than 1,450 foreigners – drawn from 48 countries – taking part in the races.
National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) president Thong Khon set the runners on their way, although not before declaring his pride in the event held at the historic UNESCO monument. He said Cambodia was honored to host such an eclectic and international event and highlighted the role Angkor Wat has played in boosting tourism to Cambodia.
“We received over 2.3 million tourists, up 4.6% compared to the same period last year,” he said. “Angkor Wat is both a national and international attraction and despite the rainy season, I am pleased to see so many people here to raise money for Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital and the Red Cross.”
Japan’s Koki Kawauchi beat out last year’s winner, Neko Hiroshi, in the men’s full marathon event with a time of 2 hours, 37 minutes and 57 seconds.
Cambodia’s Ma Viro followed behind the pair, finishing the 42 km course in 2 hours, 54 minutes and 29 seconds.
In the women’s event, Japan’s Sakie Ishibashi grabbed first place with a time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 9 seconds. Karen Sorrido of the United States and Australian Kerri Renshaw completed the podium places.
The route was tweaked slightly from last year, taking runners through the mazes of the Angkor Archaeological Park, past some of its most spectacular temples and all the way to Preah Prom Rath pagoda, on the river near Pub Street.