The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon highlights many of the aspects of Singapore that make the country so special. The well-designed route guides runners past bustling vibrant city streets, over pristine man-made highways, across the consistently level footpaths of the East Coast Park and straight into the heart of the concrete Central Business District (where they say dreams are made of) — this will definitely offer up a bucket list-worthy experience that is hard to beat. What more fitting way to end the year than a uniquely Singapore exploration on foot!
The special novelty of the 2019 edition of the Singapore Marathon (and definitely the talk of the town) would be its conversion into an evening race for the first time in its 18-year history, a bold move on the part of the organisers given that it had always flagged off in the wee hours of the morning. Trading up the insufferable heat that the marathon has been notorious for, runners get to soak in the rays of the setting sun and relish in weather that will grow increasingly cooler as the kilometres wear on, undoubtedly a welcome change for many. Tropical climates and the accompanying buckets of sweat don’t usually make happy runners, so this seemingly small change will make a world of difference.
The message of the Singapore Marathon – It’s Ours To Run – also speaks loud and clear. The spirit, the camaraderie, the nationwide support – whether a first-time marathoner looking to complete the race on a high, or a seasoned elite striving to break the next barrier, whether you have had four months of training in the lead-up, or have had laced up your running shoes only twice in the past month, there is a place for everyone at the start line. And with close to 50,000 runners originating from a slew of backgrounds and nationalities, you will not be running in solitude at any point of the race — you will never walk (or run, in this case) alone. What more, with the ever-friendly and enthusiastic pacers from Running Department spaced out across the route, you will literally be in some of the best company that the running community has to offer! They will make sure you have a good time throughout, put a genuine smile on your exhausted face, give you that last-stretch mental boost and help you cross the line stronger than you were at the start!
The course may be a challenging one, but when the atmosphere is right and the support is strong, even the hardest challenges appear less daunting. The scale of the race is also definitely part of its allure, as well as the seamless organisation from start to end so characteristic of Singapore’s perfectionistic culture. The hydration points are well spaced-out along the race route, with the occasional insertion of helpful bananas and gels, the post-race arrangements and entitlements (massage tents!) cater well to the tired runner legs, and the pacers, the volunteers, the marshals and everyone in between, are the people who will make things happen for you come November. All you have to do is show up and lace up!
Even if running is not something that calls out to you at first, do not fear, let the Singapore Marathon be your turning point! If you are a runner by accident, it was probably the best mistake you made in your life (or the best thing your friends tricked you into doing). If you are a runner by choice, it was probably the best decision you made in your life. And if you run the Singapore Marathon. It is probably your second best decision.