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Singapore runners. Handy guide to the Angkor Wat Marathon
Imagine starting a run with one of Asia’s awe-inspiring temples as the backdrop, with the sun just about to rise above its ancient structure.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. It was transformed from a Hindu worship place to a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. It's the centerpiece of the 400 square kilometre area of Angkor, now a World Heritage Site and one of the most stunning places in the world to run.
There are two opportunities in the year to run around these ancient temples. December and August, although the August run is the only one to offer the full marathon.
The Angkor Empire Full and Half Marathon is at the beginning of August. It offers a full and half marathon, 10K and 3K.
The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon is at the beginning of December. This offers a half marathon, 10k and 3K runs.
Both runs start and finish at the Angkor Wat temple complex. You’ll also race past many other monuments and the Preah Prom Rath pagoda as well as rice fields, forests and traditional villages.
The racecourse is mainly flat and wide with many shady areas. The shorter distances make this a great opportunity for the whole family to take part. When your feet are hurting and limbs aching, high fives and cheers from the villagers will see you through - as well as massage points at the end!
The Angkor Wat Half Marathon in December raises money for the victims of antipersonnel mines in Cambodia. Wheelchair users and those with artificial limbs also compete. This is a big race, with around 8 000 runners. The August run is much smaller, around 2 500 runners participate.
Both races are recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Road Races and packages are available with various travel agencies. There are no hotels within the Angkor Archaeological Park itself and you must stay in Siem Reap, a 20 minute tuk tuk ride away. Be prepared to take part in the longest tuk tuk parade ever on the morning of the race!
The August run is held in rainy season with daily temperatures around 33 degrees celsius.
December is right in the middle of the cool season. Although daily temperatures can reach 30 degrees celsius, but it will feel less humid.
Who can take part?
August – over 16 years for the marathon, half marathon and 10K. Any age for the 3K family run.
December – over 16 years for the half marathon, over 13 years for the 10K, any age for the 3K Fun Run.
August 6 2017 Angkor Wat Full and Half Marathon
December 3 2017 Angkor Wat International Half Marathon
You can fly direct from Singapore to Siem Reap and it takes around 2 hours and 10 minutes.
If you’re a serious runner, or you just like to challenge yourself, why not take part in one of Asia’s great runs? Go for it! Check out earlier posts in this series, tailor-made for Singapore runners.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good travel cover.
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