Here I am at the finish line of a 10k walkathon to raise money for and awareness of Nokor Tep, a planned women’s health care center in Cambodia. More than 500 walkers—and a few hardy runners—got up early (we left the hotel at 6:00) to finish the event by about 10:00 a.m., when the morning sun really starts cooking.
I’ve never walked 6.2 miles with a number on my shirt. Our house-building group numbered 19 folks, ranging in age from their 70s to Sam, who is 11. Much of the walk was in semi-rural country just south of Phnom Penh, on the long peninsula between the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers.
We set off with the cheering pack after a pre-walk dance concert by a Filipino performers. The runners were from all over the world, and about half were Cambodians, many of whom had come as teams from schools. I settled into a slow but steady gait around the middle of the pack, but by the end of eight clicks—there were watering stations at each kilometer, marking our progress—I was pretty spent.
We walked mostly dirt paths and back roads with a few paved stretches through villages. About half the route was shaded and it was interesting and beautiful to get away from the city and see how people lived. I’d brought my camera, but it remained brick-like in my backpack because I knew if I stopped to record each interesting scene, I’d never finish. I sat down just once, around km8, before I made a big effort to finish. I wasn’t the last person in, but my hips, knees, ankles, and feet were glad to have a rest.
A few other photos follow: