The Standard Chartered Marathon (SCM) was on this morning and this year’s race is no exception, considering the last race for the season with Stand Chartered as the title sponsor. You can’t deny that 42km is not an easy feat but that didn’t stop a total of more than 40,000 runners from signing up for today’s event.
There are a large variety of transport options, despite the absence of bus and train services early in the morning. You can make your way to the venue by taxi, private transport (carparks in the area are open 24hours) or by official shuttle service (pre-booked) at the race expo ($3) or paid on the spot ($5). I personally took the 4.30am shuttle bus at Delta Sports Complex and technically you can even board the bus even without showing (or having) your ticket! Baggage deposit was rather disappointing, which I will touch on in a later part.
Marathon route terrain & weather
The marathon route is generally flat throughout and takes roughly the same route as last year, so I won’t touch on much about that, the lane width for most parts of the race are adequate and wide, even at the east coast areas, making full use of both the biking and pedestrian walkways for the 2 way traffic.
The weather for today’s race was excellent- it did not rain yet it was constantly cooling and windy through the wee mornings, even up to about 8am plus. That helped much in preventing excessive water loss for everybody in the early part of the race. I personally did not perspire much at all till the Sun came up fully at around 9am.
Waterpoints & Route facilities
Very commendable are the water points this year, there are always ready cold ice-mountain water and 100-plus at every water point, don’t ask me how they do it even with no visible chillers, ice or freezer trucks in sigh, only ice boxes of stacked mineral water, yet it’s always cold when you need it. We runners also can appreciate the organizers in stationing additional water points in critically hot sunny areas along the route (such as the kallang route towards national stadium), it goes to show how flexible can they be.
There are 2 portable pottys stationed at every waterpoint, which came as a welcome for all runners and not having to “hold up” to the known toilet areas along the route (e.g. east coast park which is remarkably not packed with runners), guess that really did lighten the toilet queues through the race. Deep heating stations are aplenty this time as they are manned by the SCM volunteers themselves, contray to Deep heating own staff members. There is only one powergel station this year, manned by powerbar themselves. There are banana kiosks at the 20km mark and many more nearing the finish, largely notable by banana peels all over the place which didn’t post much of a hazard. The spray tunnel tunnel came very much as a bonus to many, but not that the mist can actually reach/cool you down physically at all or directed away by the wind.
The baggage deposit in the morning was terribly long, with queues snaking from the tentage all to the underpass. And mind them it’s not exactly fast moving at all. It’s not as if I had to put up with the queue myself but I believe many started the race late after having to put up with the it. Having a single main line actually acts as a bottleneck and not utilizing the other pens who are waiting at idle until the earlier pens are all filled, they should have dedicated independent queue lines to each pen based on the runner’s tag number so the lines will be more spaced out and accumulated. Another confusing thing is the need for another printed tag number on top of your bib number, is it really necessary?
The organisers also made a mistake in condorning so much of the baggage area off, making it very difficult to access the area. The long pre-race toilet queues are exceptional as well, but you can still make use of the toilets in the surrounding areas (I used marina square), provided if they are accessible and not locked.
Post race events and facilities
Complete your race and be greeted by an array of tents and carnivals at the Padang. There is nothing much for adults which the exception of massage (the massage was great! 1st time going for it) and large admin/rest area, but for kids there are lots of play areas, not to mention large walking spheres, bungee and “spirit of marathon” painting competitions. There are also performances by various school military bands, not to mention face off between the run-aspirator performing teams at the stage (the percussion drums team clad in green were the champions).
We have a winner!
With the exception of a few hour delay for results and prize presentation by the organisers, congrats to our SP’s 10km relay team for coming in 3rd for the Mixed 10km Relays!
So how did I do?
Personally I found this year’s marathon very relaxing and enjoyable to run especially in the early part of the race (<25km), but my timing this year did not say likewise- it is in fact 15mins slower than my last year’s timing of 4hours 40minutes. I did not walk as much this year and kept to an average pace of about 9.5km/h for most parts of the run. I think the greatest thing I lack from LSD runs is speed, which could actually improve my timing further.
Looking at some factors which could possibly slowed me down, I did stop by a visit to the first aid asking for plasters, but was offered vaseline by the auntie there instead for nipple abrasions (duh) which I found out when applied in generous amounts works wonders! I did not visit any toilets at all but chatted with few old friends along the route, so give and take for the considerable longer times.
The thing which really bugged me is a cramp which came up at my right quads at the last 2km when I was picking up the pace, it’s disappointing knowing that the finish is so near, yet you have to force yourself to stop and walk/stretch before picking up the pace again. Overall I cleared the line at about 5hours guntime, so my actual timing can be around 4:45 to 4:50. My calibrated distance measurement read 45km+ when I crossed the line, could straying off track for stretching and not cutting corners really turn in more than 42.192km?
In a better light, the other wonderful thing about this year’s race would be my shoes, never before I’ve ran more than 20km without a single blister at all (not to mention blackened toenails too)! Now I come to realize that my Mizuno is a perfect fitting shoe for me. My previous DS trainer for last year’s race, though very much lighter was very cramped at the toes, not suited for my wider foot type.
Nevertheless I was a finisher, and I guess that is what most people are more than satisfied with! I left the place around 1.30pm and there are still a handful of runners still finishing the marathon, amazing!
Excellent organization for an international standard event. Well thought after crowd and event management, together with rather commendable water points and friendly service staff. Baggage collection deposit methods however, could be improved further also with more toilets at the start line. Nevertheless, a very professional event. Well done for the last of the 5 year season, running with Standard Charted as the title sponsor.
Weight for thought
Last but not least, to go with the SGrunner’s line of “running away the weight” here are some interesting measurements I’ve recorded prior and after the race Oregon Scientific Body analysis Scale, who says you can’t loose weight by running? Here’s the prove from myself!
Total weight: 62.2kg
Body Water percentage: 64.1%
Body Fat percentage: 12.1%
Post Marathon after recovery and full hydration
Total weight: 59.7kg
Body Water percentage: 65.6%
Body Fat percentage: 10.0%
I’ve never got below 10% for body fat before, it goes into saying that even with a week’s of gull glycogen store it won’t stop the body from going emergency into the fat stores to sustain the calorie requirement. Whats more I’ve crossed my 1000km mark for this year!
Running Mileage for the week
Standard Chartered Marathon: 42.195km – Sunday
Total Mileage for week: 42.195km
Total 2007 Accumulative Mileage: 1020.45km
Top 5 results of SCM 2007 for marathon categories
1 2.14.23 ELIJAH MBOGO KENYA
2 2.14.25 AMOS TIROP MATUI KENYA
3 2.14.43 DAVID CHERUIYOT KENYA
4 2.16.43 FRANCIS KIPROP ETHIOPIA
5 2.16.59 MICHAEL KIMANI KENYA
1 2.37.08 ALEM ASHEBIER GEBREZO ETHIOPIA
2 2.38.08 EDITH MASAI KENYA
3 2.38.46 CAROLINE KWAMBAI KENYA
4 2.39.41 EMMA MUTHONI KIRUKI KENYA
5 2.43.27 MADINA BIKTAGIROVA RUSSIA
Category Rank Time Name Country
1 2.46.31 DANIEL LING SINGAPORE
2 2.51.22 M. RAMESHON SINGAPORE
3 2.55.54 P.RAMESH SINGAPORE
4 2.57.27 TAN CHOON GHEE SINGAPORE
5 3.00.21 HUANG YUXIANG EUGEN SINGAPORE
1 3.01.17 VIVIEN TANG SINGAPORE
2 3.10.19 ANNE QIHUI DATE SINGAPORE
3 3.24.59 LIM SU LIN ELAINE SINGAPORE
4 3.36.17 YONG LAI CHEE SINGAPORE
5 3.38.15 ANNA TEO SINGAPORE
Category Rank Time Name Country
1 2.42.34 JIRATIGARN BOONMA THAILAND
2 2.57.27 TAN CHOON GHEE SINGAPORE
3 3.00.10 MICHAEL CRAIG SCOTLAND
4 3.07.23 BRUNO FIORE FRANCE
5 3.08.40 SLONAKER MICHAEL USA
1 3.01.46 JUNGSOOK LEE KOREA
2 3.11.19 ITSUKO LEWNES JAPAN
3 3.14.26 LUCIE HARDIMAN AUSTRALIA
4 3.24.45 JULIE FOREMAN GREAT BRITAIN
5 3.36.18 YONG LAI CHEE SINGAPORE