When most people think of Cambodia they think ‘tropical’, ‘hot’ and possibly ‘humid’, and while there’s no question The Kingdom of Wonder dishes plenty of that up, it can also be quite cool in places, which is where your ioMerino can come in handy.
ioCrew member Sputnik had the chance to wear his when he headed south for a half marathon and various other adventures including a kayak on the local river.
“I found out about a Half Marathon they were running on top of Bokor Mountain on the south coast by accident, and although I was still recovering from my not so great outing at the Yurrebilla Trail 56km ultra about a month earlier, I decided I couldn’t let the opportunity to collect some new race bling pass me by. It just so happened it was not so far from where I’ve been helping out one of the local communities recover from the recent floods, so it all worked out pretty well” Sputnik explained.
The event is in its second year and compared to the more high profile Angkor Wat Half Marathon in the heart of the tourist area in December, attracts a relatively modest crowd due to its remote location. At an elevation of 1,000m the weather is noticeably cooler and explains why the French built a getaway settlement on top of the mountain back in the 20s. After various wars, that settlement was left mostly in ruins until relatively recently when a new resort and residential development was established. And along with that, a new race!
The 5km and 10km distances had good turnouts, but the half marathon was for the foolhardy and brave of heart with around 30 to 40 competitors tackling the 21km distance on what was a fairly unforgiving, undulating course.
“It was quite cool when we started, so my ioMerino T-shirt was perfect. And even though it’s cooler up there than at ground level, it warmed up pretty quickly and that’s when I was happy with how well my top breathed and wicked moisture. I sweated up a storm in the humidity but stayed pretty comfortable throughout the race. Which is just as well, because I was out there for quite a long time notching up a PW (Personal Worst) Half Marathon time!” Sputnik laughed.
With the race in the bag, it was time to do some more exploring, taking a bike out to check out some of the local sites, and then, after returning to ground level, hitting the river for some kayaking.
“We’re right on the tail end of rainy season, so the weather is a bit all over the place. It can be clear blue sunny sky one minute, then thunder and lightning the next. And if the breeze kicks in, the temperature can drop what feels like about 15 or 20 degrees in a matter of minutes. So if you’re damp from rain or perspiration when the temperature falls, it’s nice to have my ioMerino on” he said.
The river, which was the source of flooding just a month or two earlier, has returned to it’s normal levels and Sputnik went exploring the offshoot ‘Green Loop’ in a kayak with friends. The route takes in narrow, palm lined streams, wide open river and even a massive water lily ‘garden’.
Sputnik says that while he’s visited the area several times over the years, he’s never kayaked through there and it is now one of his firm favourite things to do in the The Kingdom, and will be making an appearance on his Swashbuckler Adventure Trail Tours.