As the 9th Phnom Penh International Half Marathon hurtles towards its June 16th start, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia has urged amateur runners to sign up for next month’s race festival.
Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said that the committee would implement some changes to enable easier registration.
“The commission will arrange a place to register in front of the Royal Palace for easier registration of interested runners,” Mr Chamroeun told the press.
He estimated that around 3,100 registrants had already signed up, with over 600 of the total comprising of foreigners. The number is an improvement on previous years but as race day approaches, he called for more people to register.
Other than the longer 21-kilometre half marathon distance, a 10-kilometre run and a 3-kilometre fun run are also on offer for those not yet ready to tackle the longer distances.
At last year’s event, 5,000 runners tackled the 8th Phnom Penh International Half Marathon in the Cambodian capital.
Famed Cambodian long-distance runner Ma Viro claimed the podium in the men’s race clocking a time of one hour, 16 minutes, and 30 seconds. Japanese-born Cambodian marathon runner Kuniaki Takizaki followed in second place a minute and 30 seconds off the pace.
In the women’s half marathon, Jill Hamill of Great Britain clocked 1:29:03 to finish ahead of Sasaki Natsuno of Japan.
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 the 125th Olympic Day.
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.
Ministers have long regarded the kingdom’s numerous marathons as vital in cultivating Cambodia’s burgeoning sports-related tourism sector.
“International tourist arrivals in Cambodia have increased every year, especially in Siem Reap, a world-class tourist destination, explained Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and chairman of the NOCC, at the close of the 2017 edition.
“Cambodia is developing Siem Reap and Angkor to become one of the world’s most attractive tourist destinations. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world.”
Entrants can register at the headquarters of either Cambodia-Events Organizer (No 79CEo, St. 155 corner St. 476, Phnom Penh) or at the headquarters of the NOCC (No. 1, Street Republic of Poland (163), Sangkat Veal Vong in Phnom Penh).