Running the Angkor Wat Marathon

Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia

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.

Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia

The Race

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.

Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia
Morning views!

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.

Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia

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 Cambodia

Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia

Angkor Wat Marathon Information

You can get more information on the 2017 Angkor Wat Website or here.

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.

Budget – Royal Crown Hotel 30USD
Middle Option – Sokkhak Boutique Hotel ~80USD
Got Cash? – Victoria Ankgor Suites – ~300USD

Want to check out more places? Try to search on TripAdvisor or Agoda!

Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia
Post run refreshments?

Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia

Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia
Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia
Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia
Leaving you with this souvenir of Siem Reap – It’s lucky to touch the one in NYC, let’s hope this one too gives luck haha!
Get running!
  • Where is the best place you have ever run around the world?
  • Are there any other runs or marathons that we need to try out?

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Angkor Wat Marathon Cambodia
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  • Kim @ Those Who Wandr

    What an amazing way to see Angkor Wat! I’ve never considered doing a run abroad, but it seems like a great way to see a new city. I’ll have to pass this along to my running friends, thanks for the information!

  • I wish you’d shared your finishing time! 6am is the perfect time to start the marathon, I guess those who do the full marathon will be start to suffer from the heat as it gets past 9am. Watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat whilst waiting for the race to start must have been inspiring. The most beautiful places I’ve been for a run are on the Promenade in Panama City and also on Ipanema / Copacabana Beach in Rio.

  • Rashmi & Chalukya

    This definitely sounds like an amazing experience. Running Marathon in the places one travel is the best way we can imagine to keep fit. And if you get to run around so many wonderful monuments running would be more of a rejuvenating experience than exhausting.

  • The Angkor Wat is one of the best religious monuments in the world in terms of size and grandeur. Joining this race sounds like a great new way to experience Angkor Wat. I didn’t know there was such an event here – worth a try!

  • When we visited Angkor the heat and humidity was oppressive – I couldn’t imagine jogging in it, let alone running a marathon! I guess the run is early in the morning to avoid the worst of it – but as I’m not a runner, the heat/humidity would be my excuse and I’m sticking to it! What a great place for a marathon tho – such epic scenery, I think I’d be too easily distracted to finish the race.. or that might just be another excuse to get out of it from my non-running self!

    • Honestly, all the pain of the run went away as I ran through the thousand year old ruins, what a surreal feeling!

  • Clare

    I never knew they did a half marathon in Angkor Wat. I have been twice to Angkor Wat and loved it and have also spent NYE on pub street!! That was an amazing experience!! Cambodia is one of my favourite countries and maybe one day I will be able again, though am not even sure I would want to run 3km in that heat!!

    • It is a super cool spot. The marathon actually starts super early as the sun comes up so heat is not a huge issue 🙂

  • travelwithbird

    That’s cool, I would be happy to see once Angkor Wat and you even made a half marathon there, that’s impressive! Anyway, the location looks totally beautiful and I can imagine this must have been a great and unique experience for you!
    How was it in general with the temperatures and humidity there? Not to mention the distraction from all the amazing things along the way 🙂

    • It was so scenic to run around the temples, it stopped me from thinking about the pain of running. The heat and humidity was high but we had finished our running before then.

  • Marcie Wirtz Cheung

    I never would have thought to run a marathon in another country! What a fun experience! Great tip about booking a tuktuk driver the night before. I think this is great advice anywhere that a major event is taking place. It makes sense that they would inflate their prices due to high demand!

  • Tasha Haley

    I never even knew there was a marathon here! Wow. It looks like an awesome race. I would love to try this sometime – thanks for sharing some nice places to stay nearby. We will be in Cambodia for Christmas and want to see Angkor Wat so will check out these hotels