Posts Tagged ‘Esplanade

21
May
10

More than a Name Change: Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2010

Last year was my first ever marathon outside the Philippines during what was then called Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM).  This year, Standard Chartered, the event’s title sponsor, decided to give it some makeover by having a name change.  But the changes with this year’s event is more than superficial—new sponsors, Race Director, routes, and event are being introduced.

ASICS would be the official outfitter of this year’s SCMS under the three-year sponsorship agreement (until 2012) and as such will be offering 15% discount off regular merchandise at ASICS Concept Stores, located at Paragon, #04-44A and Marina Square, #03-110 for participants of SCMS 2010 from August 01 to December 04, 2010.  Singapore Sports Council (SSC), the organizer of SCMS, appointed Dave McGillivray, the person behind Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) Boston Marathon, as this year’s Race Director, but the two major changes that would be introduced this year are the new routes and the new Ekiden relay.

Full marathon runners will run down Orchard Road, Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts building, followed by bustling Chinatown and the grand Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.  Half marathon runners will start on Sentosa Bridge through Universal Studios and 10K runners will start off at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and will run past Singapore’s Financial District before moving over to the new Helix Bridge.

The Ekiden (long distance relay) is the new addition to SCMS where six runners form a team to cover the entire 42.195K.  The first runner will flag off with the full marathon runners while the rest of the participants will be allocated to their respective stations.

I would’ve wanted to set a new course record with SCSM but it seems that with SCMS that’s no longer possible, but it does offer the charm of a new route (I think I’m more excited with 21K route, unless the marathon route covers it too) and the promise of a better race.

Registration for this year’s SCMS is already open and if you register between May 20 and June 04, 2010 you get at least 45% discount.  There’s also a 15% discount if you use Standard Chartered Credit or Debit Card.  This year’s race would be on December 05, 2010.  More details of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010 will be released within the next few months.

23
Dec
09

Singapore Special: The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (Day 03)

One of my dreams is coming true: “to run a marathon abroad.” Not only am I fulfilling it, I’m doing it with flying colors with SCSM which is one of the most popular marathons in the world.  I remember when I first knew of SCSM a year ago I was quite envious of the runners that were racing here especially that they got full gear from a leading sports brand.  Back then my longest race was 10K so I never thought that a year later I too would be in Singapore, doing a full marathon!

From our hostel it was an easy kilometer to the Starting line and along the way we met runners of all sorts, nationalities, and races also on their way to the Start.  Aside from the heat you feel because of the humidity you can feel the heat of competition in the air!  We were in the presence of thousands of serious runners and world class elite athletes, definitely not your regular “social” race.  If this atmosphere doesn’t motivate you to run better, I don’t think anything could.

Baggage Counter

It’s pretty difficult to miss the baggage counter because signs were all over.  What’s good about their system was that they probably had enough space for every runner, and they don’t just take your bags, they place it inside huge plastic bags and seal it so you know that your things are protected.  Your baggage claim number would be stapled on your bib itself so you won’t lose it.

The Starting Line

From the baggage counter signs were placed that lead to the Starting line, the only difficulty would be navigating your way through the thousands of runners in the area.  Even in the area signs were very visible on where 21K and 42K runners should assemble.

Edu, Pepsi, Myself, and Carina (white bibs 42K, red bibs 21K)

The Starting line of SCSM was located across Fullerton Hotel and runners were assembled on the bridge all the way to the Esplanade.  There were a lot of portalets around the area (although there were so much more runners!) and water was also overflowing.

Thirsty?

Not all runners are created equal.  We all have different goals and capabilities and as such sections were dedicated for different target finish times: there was a section for over 5 hours, over 4 hours, over 3 hours, and of course up front the real competitive athletes.  Since timing chips were employed and if you’re not aiming for the podium your chip time would be your reference as getting through the Start line would take some time.

The Race

At exactly 5:30AM (Garmin time, to the second) the race started.  There were runners of all levels as far as the eye can see!  It took us more than two minutes (from the sub-5 hour section) to get through the Start line as the road was just jam packed!  It’s not that anyone was walking; everyone was running—all at the same pace!  It was strange for me at first to be surrounded by runners all running at about the same pace but despite the skill level of my company, because of the crowd we were running at an average of 6:30/km pace for the first 4K.

What’s nice with having a competitive pack like this was that you’re kept motivated to run.  You wouldn’t want to stand out in the crowd by being the first one to walk?  In the first place you picked your pace by choosing which section to start so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to keep up with the crowd’s pace.  Everyone around you has the same goal as you: it’s either you let yourself be pulled towards the goal, or drag people to miss it.

After the euphoria and fatigue starts seeping in you’d just realize you’ve already ran 21K and the crowd is still there!  The jam packed crowd from the Starting line only loosens slightly at around 10K and even at 21K it was still pretty packed.  It was good I was in the sub-5 hour pack as nobody’s walking (so far) with the roads getting narrower when we entered East Coast Park, a beachside park with huge trees.  We were running on the park’s jogging trail so even if it was wide enough there were so many runners for the space.  Since we were already on our way back past 21K we can see on the other side the “slower” pack which was of course more crowded.

East Coast Park was one of my favorite parts of the course since it was very lively, it was beachfront, it had fresh air, it had a lot of supporters, and there was food!  You can feel the community’s support here as individuals give runners bananas, sandwiches, candies, and moral support.

As you progress with the race you just feel like the water stations get further and further despite being consistently at every 1.5K.  It was those moments where your mind would carry you.  Without a strong disposition you may give up.  Realistically it’s also at this point where you start slowing down without knowing it.  I remember that there was a runner who was starting to walk behind me.  One of the supporters put out one of his several banners, “this is a no walking zone.”  It was quite a funny moment and apparently it worked as the “walker” started running again with the supporter replying with a “thank you.”

I vaguely remember the details but around 10K before the finish I felt an imminent cramp setting on my left thigh.  I feared that I might walk all the way to the finish if it ensued so I had to take a brief rest and a walk break whenever I reach a water station.  Then I remembered my goal: “minimize walking.”  All my prior marathons have more than ideal walk breaks so if I were to stick to my goal I had to keep running.  As a compromise between preventing the full onset of cramps and minimizing walking I settled for easy and cautious running, of course walking a little after each water station.  Still, I think I was spending too much time at the water stations without realizing it, so when one of the volunteers at the water station cheered me up “Keep going, Dennis!” I was startled, but it woke me up and surprisingly got motivated to do just that, to the finish.

Finally back at Esplanade Drive, the Finish is just a few hundred meters away.  It was very, very crowded as runners from all categories converge in the area (think Milo Marathon) of course including “walkers.”  Looking at my GF405 I knew I would set a new PR and at a better than expected time!  I had to take it.  Out of nowhere I suddenly had the strength to run and finish strong, thinking fast to find my way through the sea of walkers and finally there it was, the Finish line.  I actually entered the wrong area of the Finish so I had to jump to the other section and make a mad dash against the clock.  As I crossed the Finish I was just so ecstatic that I just raised both my hands. It actually felt much longer than it actually was when I reviewed my video, which was probably adrenaline rushing.  Another marathon, my best so far, a “perfect” race for me.

Post Race

Finishing SCSM wasn’t enough; part of the experience was getting your reward: the precious finisher’s medal and the nice finisher’s shirt.  We also got a lot more freebies from the sponsors but I’d say the ice cream (more like ice popsicle) was one of my favorite treat (I got three).

Proud SCSM 42.195K Finisher

Singapore City Hall: the site of SCSM’s Finish

The activity area…

…with the skyline

…and the VIP tent

…where fruits, drinks, ice cream, and candy floss were served for free

It was definitely quite an experience, uniquely Singapore! I had so much fun that I am seriously considering returning to Singapore next year, although it may be with another event (who knows maybe I’ll return more than once).  I needed to fly three hours just to get the race that I was craving for, and despite the costs incurred it was well worth it for me.  This is an excellent example that when you give your best in anything you do, people will know, and you’ll get the credits and benefits you deserve.  Costs and distance will not be a factor if people know they’d get an experience they won’t forget.  Thank you Singapore and thank you Standard Chartered!  I am now a fan of SCSM!

Special thanks to Carina for the pictures that appeared here.

Singapore Special Index:

22
Dec
09

Singapore Special: Pre-Race Tour (Day 02)

As a tourist in the 21st century it is probably a mortal sin not to have a camera of sorts especially on foreign land, so for my second day in Singapore finding one comes on top of my itinerary.  Being a gadget hub I sure didn’t have any difficulty finding one for me in Singapore.  What’s good about being a tourist buying gadgets in Singapore is that you are entitled to a 7% GST (Goods and Services Tax) refund of up to S$300 for purchases above S$100 (in a single receipt).  For many gadgets Singapore prices are among the most competitive in the region and the additional incentive sure makes shopping more gratifying.  Here are the first sets of pictures taken from my new digital camera:

Raffles City

Raffles City fountain

Shopping sure makes you hungry

Travel Tip: Most modern gadgets won’t have any problem with Singapore’s voltage but if your gadget’s charger or power cord is Philippine-standard make sure to bring an adapter as Singapore’s outlets are different.

Lunch time with friends at Raffles City

What do tourists normally do? Tour!  That’s exactly what we did, and yes it’s the day before the marathon!

Jedi caught by the empire! Storm Troopers help gather funds for The Salvation Army (courtesy Carina)

Inside Swissotel The Stamford

War Memorial Park with the famous Singapore skyline in the background

One side of the baggage counter for SCSM at the Memorial

Travel Tip: You may consider bringing along a small bottle of water when touring Singapore.

A typical double decker bus

Travel Tip: Civic District is best toured by foot, but don’t forget to bring your map!

Marina Square

Lookey what we found

Esplanade

…from another angle

Fullerton Hotel with the Singapore skyline

The Merlion

…and the Merlion cub

For dinner since it’s the night before race day it can only mean one thing—carbo loading time!

Glitzy Christmas by the bay

Raffles City Christmas tree

Time to carbo-load!

Hmmm… Spaghetti!

Pizza, courtesy of Rico V. (By Sheer Will)

Seafood Carbonara Pasta

Before calling it a day we stopped over a supermarket to do some shopping.

Fruits

Cavendish Bananas from the Philippines!

Finally just before having some shuteyes I thought of writing some inspirational message on the extra bib provided, but being tired of touring my mind wasn’t generating creative juices so I just prepared my things for my marathon the following day.

My K-Ona ready for its Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon debut

The moment I have been waiting for, the reason I am in Singapore, has finally arrived.  What will happen on race day remains unknown so far…

Singapore Special Index:




Follow runningpinoy on WordPress.com

🌏 Visits

  • 1,257,709 and counting!
Flag Counter
Thank you for visiting!
🇵🇭
The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime Amazon Prime - Give the Gift of Prime

%d bloggers like this: