It was another spectacular event in Siem Reap, the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, sponsored by Manulife Cambodia, to promote a healthy lifestyle that captured the attention of the sporting world.
Some 12,000 runners from over 80 countries raced in the 24th edition of the half marathon that was held in the early hours of December 8 – making it another high-profile annual sporting event in the Kingdom.
The run takes participants through amazing, majestic, and beautiful routes filled with scenery around some of the most ancient temples and historical sites in Cambodia as well as in the world.
In addition to being the principal sponsor of the annual event since 2015, and with the support of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, Manulife initiated a fundraising programme among its employees globally to support Angkor Hospital for Children, a non-profit paediatric healthcare organisation that has a mission to improve healthcare for Cambodian children.
As of 2018, around US$300,000 had been raised for this charity cause, and this year in the marathon morning, US$111,211 had been donated to the hospital.
President and CEO of Manulife Roy Gori told The Post during the event that the company is constantly looking at ways how it can give back to the communities that they are operating in.
“The Angkor Hospital for Children has done an amazing job by helping underprivileged children. And we are honoured to be partnering with them in what can be described as incredible cause. “The participants can feel the spirit that exists among the people and honestly I’m very proud of this. It is an honour to be part of it and keep coming year after year,” Gori added.
CEO and General Manager of Manulife Cambodia, Robert Elliott said during the event that the company is “extremely proud to have been operating in Cambodia for the last seven years and with a vision to help build a healthier and better future for Cambodian families, and supporting the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon is a perfect alignment to that.”
He said that the company is also pushing the event internationally “because Manulife is a global company and we have over 500 staff joining us from Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and all over around Asia.”
“Manulife is very committed to helping people live a healthier and better life, something that we’re very proud of.”
Meanwhile, Anil Wadhwani, President and CEO of Manulife Asia said that the company is very proud to be associated with the Angkor Wat Half Marathon and that this is the fifth year they have been associated with the marathon as the principal sponsor.
“We believe that it is very important for our customers and citizens in Cambodia to benefit from a healthy lifestyle.
“The event can promote longer and a better quality of life which is the core part of Manulife’s mission.”
Sam Fletchaer from the US, who participated in men’s 21km race finished third with a time of 1:09:35, said, “It’s my second time, I am very happy with the race. I finished in third place and I’m planning to come back every year”.
Another runner, Joe Martin from UK, who clocked 1:21:03, said that it was his first time taking part in the half marathon.
“It’s a great race, I took part in this event with a few of my friends. The route has stunning scenery.”
Lim Bonoeurn, from Sihanoukville province who participated in the five kilometre race, said that the marathon unites the participants to achieve what they want.
“It gives us an opportunity to achieve our goals. It’s great to see more runners this year,” said Lim.