The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon is Singapore’s biggest race. How did it go? We talk about it and you have to see if you agree.
Over the weekend, the biggest event in Singapore’s annual road racing calendar took place, and raised the bar for great races in Singapore.
This year, a landmark success was seen in the sales of the race categories, all which sold out by the time registration ended, and more than 48,000 took to the streets to run. To accommodate the crowd, and offer a wider city route, more streets were closed to accommodate the participants. Shuttlebuses were deployed to collect the runners from all over the island and many managed to reach the area on time.
This year, Kenyan elites once again swept the front in the elite categories. Cosmos Koech Kimutai and Pamela Rotich Kipsogei won the men’s and women’s marathon respectively, making it the 15th year they have done so in the men’s event and the 8th year for the women’s respectively.
Both of them are first-time winners of the SCSM, and they managed to deny the returning champions their claim to the title.
For the National Championship, SEA Games Gold Medallist Soh Rui Yong and Team Singapore marathoner Rachel See were crowned the titles in their respective categories.
Run with responsibility
This year, the entire event had included messages of environmentalism, calling for runners to make sure to dispose of their trash carefully and properly when running. This was included in the info leaflets, along with the routes and at the expo. The inclusion of the Green Ambassadors this year was an attempt to enforce this initiative, with volunteers holding out collection bins to collect rubbish that runners would deposit into when they run past them during the event.
Runners took to it in stride, some greeting the volunteers with courtesy and aplomb, and some thanked them for the good they were doing for races. Others pinned the leaflet on their singlets, reminding fellow runners to make sure they were responsible enough to bin their products properly.
Baggage with the Baggage
Despite the success, there were indeed a few snafus that happened at this year’s edition of the event, mostly to do with the baggage deposit. While the baggage drop stations did try their best to get everyone in on time, runners were left waiting to deposit their luggage and some were not able to get to their flag-off on time.
This year, a new change to baggage security was implemented, where runners who wanted to deposit their items in the baggage deposit area were required to empty them and place them in a transparent bag as provided by organisers.
However, the information was not communicated to all the runners, and the delays were further extended as runners had to empty everything and repack them into the baggage deposit and loaded on the truck. Some runners expressed discontent because they were only able to start the race way later instead of the original flag off time at 4.30am due to this.
Pot of Gold At The End
The runners were rewarded in the end when they reached the finish line of one of Singapore’s biggest races, and spent the rest of the day walking through the maze of booths designed to entertain and amaze at the race village. Cosplayers showed off their stuff, as some had chosen to do the 5km dressed in costumes, such as characters from the DC universe. Many spent the day eating food and recovering from all their efforts, jubilant at having completed the final race of the year, and now taking the time to relax before their racing schedule began again in 2018.