Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010...Prelude

December 5th. The last race of the year 2010. It's THE big event of the year. Not just for the Singaporeans but it's an international event that attracts many thousands the world around. This year, there is the estimation of 60,000 runners in all. Out of which about 19,000 are full marathoners. Wow! That's a staggering amount of people! It'll be awfully cramp at the start!

This is also our yearly "pilgrimage" for the Seremban 2 runners. There are about 7 of us joining the full marathon. We like this race for various reasons. But all of us unanimously agree that Standard Chartered Singapore does a pretty organized job each year. Enough to keep us coming back year after year. Beside that, it's a relatively flat course. Good place to do a PB. Afterall, it is rather nice to finish a running year with a good PB!

All of us have opted to fly in this year. Less stressful/tiring compared to driving. We will arrive on the 4th Dec a.m. and park ourselves at a hotel near the Finish at the Padang. From previous experience, it would be a more conducive (and saner) thing to do especially after an exhaustive run.

Why do I say Singapore SC does well in organizing the run? I think first of all, they learn quickly from past mistakes and feedback from runners. There is a mileage marker for every km. There are drink stations every 3 km along the way. These are very basic and yet extremely crucial matters that organizers would do well not to mess up. To set yourself up as a world class player and yet fumble on this would be laughable. So far, they have done very well from the recent years' performance.

The only issue that may arise is that of weather and temperature. For this, we simply have to rely on good ole mother nature. Because the full marathon only starts at 5am, the race will go on well into 9-10 am for most runners. So, it will be brutally hot if the sun decides to show up on that day instead of a much hoped for "gloomy/cloudy" morning. Well, we will see. I have got my sun glasses and cap ready, JUST in case!

The other point is the sheer number of full marathoners at the start. 19,000 strong! Bottom line is: Be sure to get there early! I am not sure if the officials will be strict with the ones who "stow" or ended up in the wrong pen not corresponding with their bib. i.e. sub 5 guys squeezing ahead into sub-4 pen. No offense, we are ALL Kia-su! Who's going to keep track? I seriously doubt that they could. So, if you are aiming for a PB, please get there early and park yourself in the right pen.

Another point that I personally think would save you lots of time is the baggage. If at all possible, don't waste your time with it. Don't bring one, so you don't have to leave one at the baggage site (F1 Pit building). (which is quite a distance away.) Save yourself the time and effort to squeeze through the crowd just to deposit a bag...my personal opinion.

Generally, from my own experience, there are great pacers available for this race. Last year I followed one who used his GPS watch to let us know our pace at every km that we ran. He was fantastic! I think I owed it to him for completing that race with my 1st ever sub-4. So, if you are interested to do a sub-4 or whatever your aspired PB, the pacers will definitely help. Too bad that there won't be any pacer doing less than 3:45 this time. For those who want to do sub 3:30 or sub 3:15, maybe you are good enough not to require a pacer, but otherwise, getting a GPS watch isn't such a bad idea. (You can probably get one at the EXPO) But practically speaking, it might not be a great idea if you plan on using your newly purchased GPS watch for the race. You might take up unnecessary time and effort trying to figure out the watch when you should be focusing on the run. (I just contradicted myself, didn't I? Well, you can use the GPS watch next time!)

Having said all that, I think as long as the mileage markers are properly done, one can still time/pace himself/herself quite accurately in order to run their PB.

From my personal experience in Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon 2010, one issue that we most probably will encounter is that of major congestion at the Start. (unless you are the elite runners, of course). Do expect a slow start. Don't push! And if you really want to get ahead, run along the sides of the road. It should probably clear out after 15 minutes. In HK, it took me about 20-30 minutes to be able to start running at my normal pace. For the first 5 minutes, we were just walking!

Lastly, until I blog about it after the actual run, all the best to all runners! I am sure you will enjoy it!

For more detail about the Singapore Marathon, visit: http://www.marathonsingapore.com/

Comments

  1. Francis, if not GPS watch, use this. DIY pace band, check every KM with the time.

    http://www.marathonguide.com/fitnesscalcs/PaceBandCreator.cfm

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  2. Thanks Steve, that is extremely helpful!

    I think I would try it out.

    Francis

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  3. Francis, good luck for the upcoming SCSM!
    By the way, will the cap that you wear trap heat that make you even hotter? Or you actually put ice in it, like some others do? (sorry... am trying to steal tips... hahaha...)

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  4. just a normal adidas cap. but I guess it's light weight and allows ventilation. Have been wearing it for a few races. Helps me. Not much heat issue. YS, are u running SCMS as well?

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  5. Good advice Francis...especially the heat.I too will bring a cap..for the first time I may have to use it.

    YS...good tips but where to get ice during marathon?BTW Francis...SCSM "too easy" for YS,he only runs minimal 100km.Ha..ha...ha...

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  6. Francis, am not running SCMS this year, reason is not what Foo said... muahaha...:D :D :D.

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  7. Foo, make sure you get those thin Adidas or Nike running cap. go to al-iksan shop (the one at the back, not facing Jusco) to get it. i got mine for Rm15 only, usual RM75.

    YS is doing the ultra!!!

    the weather forecast this Sat & Sun for Singapore is rain - Scattered T-storms.

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