Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Angkor Wat Half-Marathon 2008

Running Through the Angkor Thom South Gate. Ricoh GX100, 1/620 f/2.7, ISO 100. (click on photo to view larger)

I’ve just come back from two weeks in Cambodia, and while I did the usual looking around, I also took the time to run the Angkor Wat International Half-Marathon 2008. Held annually, this event organized by the Japanese, brings artificial limb support to land mine victims.

Me, standing next to a runner with an artificial leg.

The run starts soon after sunrise at Angkor Wat, and takes runners on a 21km anti-clockwise loop of the Angkor Complex. The first 10 km pass by quickly as runners are distracted by the many famous temples during the run: Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm (made famous by the movie ‘Tomb Raider’) and the Bayon. Kids line the streets to high-five you as you run by. By the time you remember that it is a race, there are only a few kilometers left. When you cross the finish line, you get the feeling it was over much too quickly.

Running past the Bayon during the Angkor Wat Half-Marathon. Ricoh GX100, 1/540 f/2.7 ISO 100

It’s a good idea to bring a camera, although if you do, you can forget about getting a good time for the race because there is just so much to shoot! I used my trusty Sea & Sea 1G (rebadged Ricoh GX100) in a Lowepro neoprene case attached to my Fuelbelt. Water is provided every 2.5km and a never-ending string of locals come out to high five you during the race!

High Five Me! Ricoh GX100, 1/750 f/2.5 ISO 100.

A noble cause, welcoming locals and spectacular and historical scenery combine to make the Angkor Wat Half-Marathon one of the best runs in the world.

Inkimsan, who came in 5th in this year's Angkor Wat Half-Marathon, proudly displays his medals from previous races from all over the world that he recieves sponsorship to run. So precious are they that he keeps them with him wherever he goes on his motorbike.

For more photos of the race, please visit my Flickr site.