Combining our passion for travel and sports is always our goal. So when an invite was available for the Angkor Wat Half Marathon in Cambodia, we booked our tickets and headed there for a cool weekend of running, sights and some relaxation.
We stayed in Siem Reap, the small village 10 minutes drive from the ruins. Siem Reap is a haven for backpackers and anyone who wants to see the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat.
So we got to the Angkor Wat ruins just prior to the sun was coming up. This was the capital and heart of Cambodia during the 9th and 12th centuries. It is also the biggest religious artefact area in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The race started at 6am, so we had to be there by 4am for registration. This meant we had to wake up at 3am and find a tuk tuk driver. Lucky for us, this was not the first time this marathon has been run, and there were plenty of drivers out ready to take us there at a (relatively) inflated price.
TIP – book your tuk tuk driver, and get his number the NIGHT BEFORE (will cost you less than $10USD)
TIP 2 – Get a small breakfast prepared for you the night BEFORE, or do what we did and bring all your marathon food from home. Most hotels will be aware is going on and will prepare you a snack. We chose our accommodation based on the partner list they provided us to make sure they would have our race bags organized, etc!
Sunrise/Sunset is probably the best time to see Angkor Wat in all its beauty, so we were snapping pics while lining up for registration.
We got everything sorted and started our race. Thuymi was kind enough to hand me a Go Pro with no attachments as I started the run which meant I had to run the whole race with a GoPro in my hand!!
The race itself was not too crowded with plenty of room to manoeuvre. My partner in crime Benny kept an even pace throughout our run. But we couldn’t help staring at all the ruins as the sun woke up. It really was a great distraction from the pain of running so far. Every corner was another temple that was different again in design.
The locals were out in force, giving out water and cheering for us in Cambodian languages we couldn’t understand, but we appreciated the sentiment.
The finish time wasn’t important in this race but I can promise you, it is one of the most beautiful half marathons you will ever do.
Angkor Wat Marathon Information
Date of the next race: August 6, 2017
Distance: 3 Km, 10.5 Km, 21.1 Km and the full marathon distance of 42.195 Km
Price: Approx 70USD for 42km 60 USD for 21km, 55USD for 10km and 45 USD for 3km fun run.
The entry fee includes:
- Race registration and running number
- Pre-race souvenir pack (number, singlet, etc.)
- Full Marathon, Half Marathon and 10Km Road Race participants will use the timing Chip
How to Get to Angkor Wat Marathon
Fly in Phnom Penh: From anywhere, it is the cheapest option and then take 6 hr bus to Siem Reap. Siem Reap has an international airport but prices can be very expensive so look carefully at prices.
From Dubai, UAE: Although since the time we did the race, Emirates will fly direct in Phnom Penh from July.
From Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam: 12 hour bus ride but only costs less than 50USD return
Where to Stay Angkor Wat Marathon
There are literally dozens of cheap, quality hotels in Siem Reap. We stayed at the Royal Crown Hotel, which was only 100 AED (less than 30$US) a night.
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