SCM 07 Prerace

It’s time of the year again- running season with the Singapore Marathon this coming Sunday. I won’t be running this year’s race, so I won’t be able to do much of a pep and review of the race. Nevertheless, here are some notables for this year’s race as well as some tips I have in pacing.

Looks like this year’s race will be rather interesting as well. For starter’s this year’s event is the largest to date. Singapore’s Muhammad Shad Feroz will be running tied as Kenya’s Henry Wanyoike’s running guide in this year’s race, as Joseph Kibunja is down with injuries. I remembered seeing them as they pass me on the return journey after marina bay on the esplanade bridge in last year’s race, in their relative speed, they were like almost literally sprinting throughout their half marathon. You can really see the bond, trust and soul in their run- and I guess that is what the race is all about.

Tips in pacing
The pacers to look out for this year will be the official Team Adidas pacers (in light blue Adidas wear) as well as Team Fatbird (in Nike dark blue running attire). Trifam is not the officially pacing this guess I believe. Remember, if you are sticking to pacers, try not to run in front of the pacing group and keep your pace constant (i.e don’t speed up or slow suddenly), this will be beneficial to all the runners within the group. If you have the capacity to jump a notch up in the pacing group (say from 5.30hrs to 5.00 and so on), break free from the group and run at a constant pace till you meet the other pacing group in front, then stick with them. Once you are accustomed, then go on for the 4.30 or 4.00 using the pacing groups as “slingshots”. Do note and make you have the capacity to do so before attempting the next bar as doing so will burn you out earlier in the marathon compared to sticking to a group.

Waterpoint tips
Stand Chart races are known for their excellent race management, not to mention waterpoints as well. A 100 plus umbrella at a waterpoint do really mean that there is 100 plus dispensed there and they are usually located at the front and end of the waterpoint, unless stated “water only”, so do make full use of the length of the waterpoints and take a cup near the end, where the crowd is usually thinner or even, non-existent. this will help in clearing the congestion, particularly from the 30km mark onwards, where many runners will start to “hit the wall”.

Also, take sips and watch for spills- a wet shoe accelerates abrasion in your shoe- it’s like asking for foot-full of blisters within 5km, so take precautions not to spill your drinks, particularly watching where you throw your cup as well, do you not want a cup full of 100 plus being splashed onto you as you are overtaking near the bins right?

Some other tips

  • Deep heat is good, but don’t go for every opportunity there is. It more of a mental placebo after multiple applications as it won’t be effective then.
  • Do not open and gobble up your power gel the moment you get your hands on one, only to have to deal with a sticky mouth and hands for the almost a few kilometers before the next water point. Instead grab one and only down it once you see a water point or those signs indicating one coming up.
  • The dusk time is a popular time where “ninjas” will run into the bushes for business, especially round the popular marina bay area, despite portable potty stationed at water points (which usually have at least 3-4 people queuing at any given time). Instead, time your toilet urges properly, clear yourself before the start of the race at home (not at the event toilets) and time a break in between at toilets along the route (e.g petrol kiosks, etc), avoiding popular areas like the East Coast toilet unless you really need to. From experience unless you have a bad bowel urge, a pre-race toilet break will usually see you toilet-free even until the end of the marathon- you will sweat everything out and your urine will be dark and minimal post-race, which is completely normal.
  • For clothing abrasions, Vaseline is far better than anything, including plasters. Look for the medical points and the staff there will be more than willing to supply you with some.
  • You can take passive and active means to counter blisters. Besides taping up your blister prone areas before the race, if you feet is prone to blistering (or if you know it will after a certain distance). Tear off some spare duct tape (aka black tape) and row say a good 20cm of it into a small row and stow it say, in your running pocket or a running pouch. Make an impromptu pit stop (or when there is no medical point nearby) and wrap your toes up mid-race if need be, it’s a real life saver.

For those running your first marathon, it will be an eye opener for you, and a personal record in the making as well, remember- finishing it no matter what timing you have it what that matters.

Take care and have a great race come Sunday!

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is the 2nd year I’m taking part in the SCM but I was kinda disappointed.Not because the race was poorly organised,in fact,the race well organised.From the race pack collection(except it was held at Expo instead of Suntec like previous years),to the race day everything went smoothly.There was improvement to the race route itself,which I personally think it is quite good to run on.

    The issue I was so disappointed about is that I was unable to get the finisher shirt of the size I want,and I felt we were kinda “forced” by the organisers to take whatever size that was available.When I submittted my registration for the event,I indicated my shirt size would be small but when I went to collect my shirt after the run I was told size M was the smallest size available.When I asked the staffs why is it that they didn’t have enough size XS or S they reply me that alot of guys who took size M came back and exchange for size S and that resulted in a shortage of small sizes.

    If that’s the reason,why didn’t the organiser standby more small sizes for cases like this?Another thing that I realised that the finisher shirt is in man sizing,and many runners who were forced to take the size M were female,and many of them were petite.So what do they have to do with such a big shirt that doesn’t fit them at all? And the main reason why I’m so upset with this is that after paying quite a amount for the marathon and completing the marathon itself,I believed we truly deserve the finisher shirt that we are entitled to.Not to get something that doesn’t suit us and just keep it aside.Who would want to have a oversize shirt and keep it in the waredore forever?

    And when I was directed to the so called “person in charge”,he replied me this situation was beyond their control,and this was on a “first come first serve” basis. “First come first serve”!?Does he think that this is a retail shop or a sale?This is a marathon event that participants had to perform beyond their physical limits in order to complete the run.Does he think that we wanted to delay to collect the shirt?The way he puts it,he’s sounding like if we want the size we want,run faster next time then!

    What I hope the organisers will do is to make arrangements to allow the participants to make a exchange for the finisher shirt,because from what I see on the spot,alot of participants didn’t get to have the shirt of their choosing.But to be fair,only allow those who still have the tag on to make the exchange.I don’t think that it wouldn’t be too much of a problem to make arrangements to do that isn’t it?
    (By the way,a record 15000 runners signed up for the full marathon category)

    Another thing that I would would suggest is that in order to prevent situations like this from happening again,imprint the shirt size on the runner’s tag and set a rule like,
    “No shirt exchange would be allowed”.After all,all the sizes will be indicated on the registration website,so it’s the participant’s responsibility to make sure he/she gets the correct sizing.

    • Hi Claudio, congrats on completing your 2nd marathon! Cheers! It’s another in the bag for you, always keep running!

      Yes, from the feedback I’ve got it seems that the only 2 things most runners are very disappointed on the race will be mainly on the attire, for both the running singlet as well as the finisher tee. The other will have to be the rather misleading queue area at the Expo itself (which itself is also rather remote) where many runners have to re-queue after being mis-informed on the actual collection point.

      I think logistics with regards to the shirts from adidas is quite a let down this year. The organisers should at least put a noticeable quota or note on the website during registrations indicating the limited number of shirts even before registrations, so this way, runners won’t feel cheated after choosing their rightful size and not given one, especially at such a crucial and tiring moment right after the marathon where all runners are looking forward to. This is the first time I’ve heard of this though, as this was not an issue so big over the last years, after all 15k sign ups for the marathon is also a new challenge, so the logistics methods from the previous years will feel the squeeze as well.

    • Hi Claudio, sadly, usually, what you get on the day , is more of less what you will have, most of my finisher tees, particularly those from 2006 onwards were all oversized and never like wearing them anyway.

      Usually, you might find better luck at running forums, such as trifam, or SGrunners, but so far from the looks of it, there had been not much discussions going on there for shirt exchange. It just seems that no one is willing to let go of the rare sizes they have I guess.

      However, recently I was told that Singapore sports council had received quite alot of complains about the shirt problem and may be planning something in line of what they call “in the interest of participants”.

      Maybe an official shirt exchange coming up? keep your fingers crossed I guess!

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