As entries soar, Ultra Trail set to blaze Angkor

Runners take part in last year’s Angkor Ultra Trail . Sdpo.com
Runners take part in last year’s Angkor Ultra Trail . Sdpo.com

Angkor Wat’s stunning archaeological site will provide a panoramic view of spectacular diversity to some of the world’s hardcore endurance runners in the third edition of the Angkor Ultra Trail on January 18 and 19, with the ultimate challenge a 128km run.

Jointly organised by the Ministry of Tourism and the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, in association with Phoenix Voyages, this incredibly tough mind-over-body Trail has been touted as one of the greatest sports tourism adventures the Kingdom is offering the world.

Open to any one over 18 years of age, the energy-sapping 128km conquest is mostly run through the night with a couple of short breaks.

The event also serves the curiosity and passion of runners with varying athletic ambitions and abilities.

Keeping in mind the level of endurance and difficulty, four other categories are on offer. They are the Bayon Trail Angkor 64km, Marathon Trail d’Angkor 42km, Jungle Trail 32km and Temple Run Angkor 16km.

For the less hardcore runner, there is the more leisurely 8km Stick Walking and the 16km Nordic Walking.

With the Angkor Wat half marathon crossing the magical 11,000 mark last year, the Ultra Trail is also growing and is now on the verge of nearly trebling its inaugural run figures of 250 participants from 26 countries.

“So far we have 700 runners from 34 countries likely to participate. France and Vietnam are at the top of the entries,” NOCC Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun said yesterday.

Apart from a souvenir pack and commemorative medals, trophies are to be given away for all category winners.

“This unique event brings different cultural experiences to a class of proficient runners and opens up our country’s great ancient treasures.

“I am confident its appeal will bring more tourists and boost our efforts to promote sports tourism on a bigger scale,” Chamroeun said.

Funds raised from the event will go to charitable causes.