Siem Reap province will host the first Angkor Empire Marathon on August 17, marking the first time a full 42-km marathon event has ever been held in Cambodia, a prospect that has already attracted more than 2,000 athletes to register.
More than 1,000 runners from 38 countries around the world have signed up for the charity event, which includes half-marathon and 10-km race categories.
Entry fees for the full-length event are $60 for foreign athletes and $20 for Cambodians, with proceeds going to the Angkor Hospital for Children, Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital and the Cambodian Red Cross.
Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said the event was aimed at boosting tourism in Siem Reap during the rainy season.
Hem Bunting, an Olympian and the country’s most successful long-distance runner, said he would not be competing at the event.
“I think that if we organize such a charity event, [the NOCC] should not profit from it and if there is no prize there should be no entry fee for local athletes,” he said.
“Even walking 42 kilometers is difficult for many Cambodians because they do not have enough food to eat.”