In December last year, I had the privilege to be part of the only gold labeled race in the region, Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018. The first time I ran in Singapore was in 2016, and this time I was quite excited to be back as an SCSM ambassador for Malaysia. Approximately 50,000 runners from around the world took the streets of Singapore during 17th annual Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM). This year elite athlete’s was the strongest line up fielded in SCSM, along with Paralympic Champions were on pursue of the total $420,000.00 prize.
After I decide to run a 21km in SCSM 2018, I started to increase my mileage bit by bit with the aim to clock around 80km per week. Pretty ambitious considering I just recovered from injuries in Q2 2018.
From 6th August to 22nd Oct, everything looks good. Some of the key workouts successfully conducted was 1km*8 @ 3:20, rest 4min, 3-2-1km & 300m*12 . I had a good 8th week of straight racing and everything looks good before I decide to check on the niggling pain of my left knee. My ortho ordered an MRI test. After reviewing my knee MRI scan result on 31st October, my ortho who is also a sports injury specialist advised me to stop running for two to three months to let my meniscus tear (about 1cm) heal. After his advice, I ran only once or twice a week to maintain my fitness without doing any speed workouts. This has put a full stop on running competitively for the remaining months for me and almost a daily visit to the physiotherapist instead of roads or running track. But as we all know, runners are stubborn and I decided to proceed with 10KM in SCSM.
Organized by Ironman Asia, #SCSM2018 is committed to delivering a world-class running event as they would like to bid to be part of World Major Marathon. Some of the major things to take note are SCSM divided 5km & 10km on Saturday and 21km & 42km on Sunday. This is a huge relief for everyone, as there will be less crowd to maneuver during the race day and makes the race experience better. SCSM also serves as a National Marathon Championship which features Soh Rui Yong a double SEA Games Gold Medalist who subsequently won the National Title for the second time. And last but not least, a new category was introduced; Elite Wheelchair.
My wife and I departed from KL on Friday via Scoot Airline in the morning to collect my race kit since I will be running on Saturday. We arrived around 12 pm and went straight to the Hotel to check in. I have planned for the lunch since the moment I decide to take part in SCSM2018, Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant. Two plates of Biryani and of course, one Murtabak Singapore. As if I’m running a 42km the next day. 🙂
After the lunch, we head over to REPC via MRT. Make sure to install Google Map in your phone, as it will be very helpful to guide navigate Singapore by foot or public transport. You can simply use google to find your way either via MRT or Bus to REPC. I still keep my Ezbuy (similar to TouchNGo), so I reloaded SGD10, and that lasted about 3 days of traveling on MRT and bus occasionally.
The REPC was smooth and packed with sponsors and lots of booths. Met Arash and Mel, also Izwan. You can still do a last minute gel purchase, shoes at a bargain price, get free tapings, and get SCSM merchandises. Noticed that they have a booth for official singlet exchange where you can drop your official singlet and exchange with other available sizes. I think this is very convenient for those who choose the wrong size during registration and keen to exchange without going through hassle by asking around one by one.
And since I’m not into racing mode, we went to Gardens by The Bay after the REPC which is only 10min walk, guided by google map.
Had the usual stuff, peanut butter with whole bread before heading to the race site. The flag off will be at F1 Pit Building and released according to Pen. I’m in Pen C, so there’a particular entrance and barricade that I need to find. Some bottleneck while getting out of the MRT, but made it right before my flag off and had some time to warm up. Again, I used Google Map to find my way from Hotel to F1 Pit Building by MRT. Kudos to the organizer for keeping the start line nearby MRT station! Alternatively, runners can also use ShareTranport to reach to the start line.
The bag drop was smooth, but you have to use the special clear bag provided during REPC to drop your bag for safety reason. The road after flag off was wide, so you won’t be crumpled between runners to make your way to the front. The Pen ahead of me was consist of sub-45min (A) and sub-60min(B), so everyone was running while I’m catching up so that was good.
Water station consists of isotonic (3rd & 4th water station) and water on a long table with a gap of almost 2km each, so it made the cup pick up easier. Saw some familiar faces who already made the u-turn after National Stadium, Kaiho, Mathias, Jeff and others who already ahead of me. My target was to finish below 45min and enjoy the run and I was on pace for that. A runner tag along with me encouraged him to pace and finish the race together, but I lost my friend around 9km. The spectator was waiting before the finishing line and spotted my wife cheering, that gave me an extra boost to finish strong.
Upon reaching the finishing line, we had this magnificent view of Marina Bay Sand behind the starting arch and MC was announcing the name of arriving runners. Mathias waiting for me with AR Flag, we waste no time to capture the moment at finishing line.
After the run, I went to catch up with AR Singapore buddies and exchanged t-shirt with their Captains and Co-captains.
After the run, me and my wife went back to the hotel and rested. We had dinner at Makansutra and I have to say their satay is really good and worth to check out if you are in Singapore.
After the dinner went to see the most iconic statue of Singapore, Merlion.
On Sunday, the 21km and 42km runners will take over the road for their race. My wife and I decided to be in spectators area to watch runners arriving at the finishing line. A large LED display was placed to broadcast the live coverage of the race.
The race was won by 24-year-old Joshua Kipkorir (KEN) with the time of 2:12:20 and 38-year-old Priscah Cherono (KEN) 2:32:12 in the men’s and women’s elite categories, respectively.
SCSM 2018 Fun Facts
- 127 countries, regions, and territories represented
- 64 percent of participants are male
- 36 percent of participants are female
- 35 is the average age of registrants this year
- 236 athletes will be celebrating their birthday on race weekend (115 on Dec. 8 and 121 on Dec. 9)
- 58,500 bananas, 147,000 litres of water, 49,000 litres of isotonic
- An unprecedented 30 entertainment points throughout the course, including performances by local bands, street performers, and cheerleaders will amp up energy levels and spur on runners.
- More than 4,000 volunteers helped make the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon a success
Some🔑 highlights from my perspective:
•The run started from @f1 Pit and ends at The Float. Easily reached via SMRT Singapore 🚊
•Starting Pen segregation was well organised with rolling starts (Pen by Pen). Didn’t drop my bag, but you have to use a transparent bag provided by the organiser with your bib no sticker 💼
•Flat route and fully closed without any cars 🚗 on sight.
•Long water station 🥤 tables with trash bins to cater the crowds.
•Large area (back to F1 Pit) to hang around after collecting finishers medal.
•Runners can be tracked via @tcsglobal ap
Overall, #SCSM2018 lived up my expectation as an IAAF Gold Labeled Road Race and I think everyone around the region must come and try it at least once. It was well organized, supported by the wholly connected transportation system, and an abundance of food choices makes the event suitable either to race or just to have fun.
Keep look out for SCSM 2019 registration and experience it yourself!