This article appeared in the Summer 2019 edition of our Trail Times newsletter and was provided by the race director Jean Claude Le Cornec.
Cambodia was the venue for a very unique trail running event — the Ultra Trail of Angkor — on January 19 and 20, 2019.
Nearly 1000 participants from 42 countries, thirsty for kilometers, from 16 to 128, set off in the middle of the unique UNESCO World Heritage Site: Angkor Temples Complex.
Organized by SDPO and Phoenix Voyages Group, this 4th edition was once again a great success, offering participants an unforgettable experience.
This year again, more and more runners completed the event, motivated by the beauty of the experience and the spectacle that awaited them: running in the middle of temples, passing through villages made up of simple wooden houses on stilts, under the encouragement of Cambodians, with children running with athletes: this is the Adventure with a great “A” of the Angkor trail!
The UTA is the only race authorized to run this cultural gem and it is the only ultra race in Cambodia, approved by the Ministry of Culture and the Cambodian National Olympic Committee.
After only 4 years of existence, Angkor’s Ultra Trail is now one of the most beautiful races in Asia and is thus one of the events that allows you to earn points in the ITRA and UTMB rankings.
Said participant Stéphane Sohier, “Third participation for me on the UTA-128km, and it’s always a great emotion. With a truly atypical decor and an organization that takes care of itself! An early morning departure to get used to the heat, with a zigzag between the temples, a beautiful stretch of forest, red trails in the middle of the rice fields, and at sunrise this superb viewpoint on the hill of Pnom Bok (which you will have to climb!). Lakes, villages, hamlets, a multitude of small contacts with the population… Everything is there for an extraordinary journey! And there is also a beautiful organization, on a human scale, with considerate volunteers! The must… of massages (legs and neck) during the last 3 refreshments (a luxury after more than 100km of effort and an additional motivation to go to the next refreshment!). Be careful, this race is addictive! As far as I’m concerned, we’re already booked for the 2020 edition.”
128 km: UTAngkor can be defined as pleasure in the ultimate, the search for oneself in this grandiose setting, becoming a finisher, a happiness become reality at the end of this journey evolving between jungle and temples, serenity and discovery. 128 km with a negligible difference in altitude, but the difficulty of the route does not detract from the performance. It is a Catalan rider, used to international podiums, PUIG Amiel Marc who wins this 4th edition.
64 km-Bayon Trail: A grandiose start given at 4:00 am, shared with the UTA 128 on the Elephants’ terrace. At the glimmer of the frontal, the torches arranged along the start between the flags representing all the countries involved bring, as for them, the “little exploratory stamp”! What could be more fantastic than to evolve with the sun rising over the temples, the rise of heat, temperature, and a pleasure unique in the world.
42 km-Marathon trail: who can dream of a marathon to walk on a ground filled with “history”, full of solemnity and peace for those who participate in this race? Far from panicking the times, this unique marathon makes sense for those who want to discover the world by running.
32 km-Jungle Trail: the jungle, the day rises on the temples. Life begins and the strides take us through the villages with children delighted and happy with this unexpected surprise to see runners.
16 km: Temple Run a race with less stakes, but as much fun because the best “spots” are concentrated on this event. Running in the heart of Angkor, where tourists do not venture, where the roots of Cheesemakers, the century-old trees typical of the country, have invaded the stone, a grandiose spectacle… 16km that also allow you to taste the friendly warmth of the children, to be associated with the celebration, they run, laugh, encourage and give flowers.
16 km (Nordic walking): this event, which begins in Prae Roup, gathers walkers who aim to arrive, after having enjoyed exceptional moments under a still discreet sun, seeing breathtaking landscapes while passing through temples and the jungle.
We invite you to participate in the fifth edition on January 18 and 19, 2020, an opportunity not to be missed.