About a decade ago, I was traveling with a team for the International Red Cross in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Since we had a free day, we decided to visit Angkor Wat. Upon arrival at the main road of the complex, we had to unexpectedly stop our vehicle and wait as thousands of the happiest runners I’d ever seen went jogging by. They looked elated. Scores of people lined the road to cheer them on while the runners smiled and waved back. I felt like I had stumbled upon some bizarre sporting love-fest. I’m not a runner, but watching those smiling people pass before me made me want to lace up a pair of shoes and join them.
Despite the passage of time, my desire to participate in the Ankor Wat International Half Marathon has not faded. The race started in 1996 in order to raise awareness and relief for landmine victims in Cambodia. According to the official website, many landmine victims participate in the half marathon and it is a source of courage and hope for them.
The race takes place on December 7 this year and there are a variety of categories for all kinds of runners including 21K, 10K, and even a 3K Family Fun Run. Although I won’t be able to attend this year, I’ve already discovered a few friends are going from Beijing. It is an ideal time to visit Angkor Wat, the race is flat, the cause is noble, and the scenery is breathtaking. I believe if you can only do one half marathon in your life, the Ankor Wat International is the one to run.
So grab your running shoes and start training. But before you pack your bag and book your flight, visit www.angkormarathon.org for more details and to register.