The 4th annual International Thansur Bokor Half Marathon and Bike Race was held yesterday with participants from the length and breadth of Cambodia scaling the heights of Bokor Mountain to test their athletic endurance.
Almost 40 kilometres from Kampot, the former French colonial hill station resort has reinvented itself as the host of one of the kingdom’s most eagerly anticipated – and unique – races.
The main attraction – a Sunday morning half marathon – was won for the second consecutive year by Cambodian running legend Ma Viro, who crossed the finish line of the 21-kilometre event in one hour, 24 minutes and 31 seconds.
He was followed a little over a minute later by Quebec-native Charles Benulne, who clocked in at 1:25:32.
Two familiar female runners on the Cambodian circuit tussled for first place in the women’s category with Briton Jill Hamill besting Frenchwoman Veronique Messina.
Hamill registered a time of 1:32:07, while Messina followed in 1:38:54.
Shorter 10, five and three kilometre runs were also contested by those daunted by the longer distances.
The event, which spanned two days, had welcomed attendees on Saturday evening with a glitzy and star-studded concert organised by Ganzberg and Hang Meas.
The first Thansur Bokor Half Marathon and Bike Race was held in October 2013 and has been stage annually, attracting a healthy section of Cambodia’s running and biking community as well as a number of intrepid athletes from both home and abroad.
Proceeds from the event, as every year, will be donated to the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital.