A victory for mine awareness at the Angkor Wat Half Marathon
By: Clare O'Reilly, Programme Officer, MAG Cambodia
At the starting line of the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, 7,579 people prepared themselves for a series of races which would take them around one of the most important and beautiful archaeological sites in South-East Asia.
Angkor Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and MAG previously worked in the Angkor Archaeological Park in 1996, clearing land of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) around Angkor Thom temple.
Photo: MAG Cambodia
Now in its 18th year, the half marathon draws participants from 75 nations who want the unique experience of seeing Cambodia’s largest tourist attraction filled only with athletes and spectators lined along its picturesque paths.
Held to raise awareness on the issue of landmines and UXO contamination in Cambodia, the event also channels much needed funding to landmine victims, helping to provide prosthetic limbs as well as assistance with social reintegration.
In order to further raise awareness of the work MAG has been doing in Cambodia for 21 years in clearing landmines and UXO to the benefit of vulnerable communities, a team of 31 MAG Cambodia international and national staff members, and supporters, gathered to take part in all race categories.
MAG Cambodia’s Country Director, Alistair Moir, commented: "The Angkor Archeological Park is an amazing place and it is fantastic that we can bring deminers back here not to find mines, but to enjoy and participate in an international sporting event.
"All of the MAG team did extremely well, however a special congratulations is due to our amputee runners, who know all too well why our work in Cambodia is still of great importance today."
Also competing in this special event were British Embassy staff from Laos and Cambodia. MAG is generously funded by UKAid in both countries.
Following the race, British Ambassador Mark Gooding offered support and congratulations to MAG’s participants: "I am delighted to see MAG raising further the profile of its mine action work in Cambodia with such a strong participation in the Angkor Wat Half Marathon.
"The UK remains a major contributor to mine action in Cambodia, working with MAG to make a real difference to people’s lives and livelihoods. Congratulations to everyone who ran!"
MAG would like to thank corporate sponsor Envotech, who generously supported all of MAG’s runners during the Angkor Wat Half Marathon.
Photos: MAG Cambodia
6 December 2013
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