The run was very hard and far exceeded the total number of runers with the attendance of an incredible number 7579 in total. Andy was very surprised that so many people traveled thousands kilometers to Siem Reap to join the Angkor Half Marathon. Each of them had a certain reason and motivation to run. Some running for environment, for children, the poor, communities like Andy, others ran for their running passion in combination with an active tour to Cambodia. This was a special chance for sporty people to join a meaningful running tour through a World heritage site, possible one of the only chances in the world. Although it was very hard to finish 21 kilometers of the marathon, the route was beautiful with shades both sides, passing through magnificent temples of Angkor ruins.
|Running map through Angkor Park|
Lucky for our “hero” from the cold land of United Kingdom, it was not too hot and humid. The marathon commenced very early, at exact 5 am, when it was still dark. Everybody gathered to prepare for the run at 5, watched the spectacular sunrise over Angkor Wat and set off at 6:20 am.
|Watching sunrise over Angkor Wat before setting off|
Although a lot of people join the run, after first 3 kilometers, some started to stop running and began to realize the huge task ahead of them. However, the runners were encouraged as local children lined the route clapping their hands and gaving them a lot of high-fives. It took Andy 3 hours 4 minutes and 20 seconds to reach the finish. It was really a tough challenge that it’s amazing to overcome in your lifetime. Talking to us, Andy said he didn’t believe that he would finish such a difficult task and was very proud of himself although his feet wereseverely hurt and blistered after only halfway, making it tough to run at all. Also, he met a lot of new friends with the same feelings and would like to invite more people to join him and Exotic Voyages team in the event next year.
|Andy when reaching the finish|
To finish this challenge, Andy was received a lot of help from friends in Siem Reap. We would like to say a big thank to Sokha Angkor Resort and LaResidence d’Angkor for perfect accommodations, Heritage Suites hotel and Sofitel SiemReap for excellent food and drink and John McDermott photographer for all their help during the time Andy was in Siem Reap for this half marathon. It was more than kindness from our friends and hotels in Siem Reap, it’s their valuable spiritual and materials support to help us realize our promise with the Green Gecko Kids.
Finally, we have raised a fund for the Green Gecko Kids. Big thanks to all kind-hearted people, our beloved supporters.
|List of fund raisers for the Charity Project|
Green Gecko Kids are extremely happy when they heard about the fund. Although we hoped a little bit more, it’s excellent to see our result after months fund raising and we can aim to beat this next year!
For the charity campaign for next year, we are going to invite more and more hotels and friends in tourism and hospitality to join us. A CHATIRY TOUR will be created soon as promised for people to travel and support local charities at the same time. A lot of tours will be planned for runners to travel to Asia next year for half marathon.
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