Run to see the world: it’s a mantra I’ve lived by for some years now. Marathons in cities, across deserts, over mountain ranges and along coastlines have been some of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. So upon hearing about a “temple run” through the famous ruins at Angkor, in Cambodia – exploring the 1,000‑ year‑old capital of the Khmer empire not by tuk-tuk, but on foot, at speed – I was instantly intrigued.
My weekend challenge: a shortish but rough trail run of 15km in a remote area of “lost” temples on Saturday afternoon, followed on Sunday by a near-full-length dawn marathon run of 40km through the temples of one the world’s largest religious monuments: Angkor Wat – occupying over 400 acres, and so deeply woven into Cambodia’s national identity that it’s depicted on the national flag. Some 2.5 million people visit these temples each year; but only a very few see them from this lung-killing, leg-pumping perspective. Which is just how I like it.