Sunday, December 01, 2013

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2013


After our run, me on left, Catherine, Dora, Howie and CK

It is the biggest marathon event in Singapore, probably in the region too.  I first ran my first Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore event (SCMS) in 2007 where I participated in the 10 km run and since then, it has been a yearly ritual for me.  It was my third half marathon run with SCMS.  My first was in 2009 where I clocked 1 hr 56 mins, second was last year where I paced Winnie and this year's run was to be my third.  I did 2 full marathons at SCMS too.  I was hoping to clock my personal best for this event and if possible, go under 1 hour 50 mins - a tall order to say the least.  To prepare for that, I had been doing more runs with my run kakis.    

SCMS 2013 was scheduled on 1 Dec 2013, Sunday and as expected, participants were over 50,000 strong.  The 21 km event attracted 12,000 runners and the flag off was at the bridge that will lead us to Sentosa.  The 21 km route is definitely more interesting than 10 km or 42 km as runners can run into Universal Studios in Sentosa.  If I remember correctly, the route has not been changed since 2009.  I understand from the organisers that all the routes will be changed next year and the finishing point will be at the soon to be ready national stadium in Kallang.  

Jac, CK, Catherine, Dora and her son, Howie and I had arranged to meet at Vivo City this morning at 0600 hrs to take group picture before the run.  As usual, I arrived at our meeting point well before 0530 hrs.  Only CK was there.  It was already past 0600 hrs, I told CK that I will move off first while he waited for the rest to turn up.  I wanted to move as front as possible so that I won't be blocked by slower runners after our flag off.  It was always chock-a-block at the initial stage as the path to Sentosa is quite narrow.

At exactly 0630 hrs, we were flagged off.  It was raining quite heavily the day before and though the ground was still quite wet.  Fortunately rain had already stopped hours before the race.  I had to be careful when overtaking some runners.  The path is quite narrow and it was still quite dark.  I saw a young lady in her cosplay makeover.  She wore a long blonde wig and her dress was almost covering the ground.  This made her run quite cumbersome but she seemed to enjoy it.  I ran past her and then concentrated on my own pace.  I was keeping a good pace at this early juncture, slightly over 5 mins.  We ran into Siloso Beach and heading to Resort World Sentosa (RWS).  The first water station was at 4 km mark and I took a sip and then poured the rest over my head.  We ran into Universal Studios park.  Upon entering, a male caucasian runner pulled out three balls and started juggling while running - much to the delight of the supporters who lined up to root for the runners.  I was equally amused.  The characters and staff were stationed along the park to welcome the runners.  Music was played too and it was inspiring for the runners, I must say.  I didn't stop to take pictures with the cartoon characters but gave hi-5 to some when I ran past them.  When we ran out of RWS, we had already covered more than 10 km.  I was still coping well but it puzzled me this time there were no pacers throughout.  Probably the pacers were assigned for 42 km event.

At the 10 km mark, I took a packet of power gel and downed it with a cup of plain water.  Yes, I needed the power gel to refuel and fortunately, I can get the power gel at the water point.  The route can be quite challenging.  We had to run up a slip road that merges to the main road after exiting Sentosa.  I started to slow down my pace as I was not sure if I can last the final 10 km with a 5 min plus pace. I was still keeping well.  It was a straight run from HarbourFront all the way to City Hall.  Every 2 km, there was water station. The hardest part was the last climb near the 16 km mark.  It was a long straight climb but fortunately for me, I managed to overcome it without stopping.  When we turned to F1 pit building, the final 3 km to the finish, we were joined by the rest of 10 km runners.  There were many runners at that point.  I was still not pushing hard, probably fatigue did seep in on me. I had no idea how fast I had covered as there were no pacers.  I was still hoping to clock a good time.  When I ran past Esplanade, I started to open up my pace.  After a short right turn, it was the final 100 metres dash to the finishing at City Hall.  I looked out the clock above which showed 2 hours and few seconds before running past. I knew I did not manage to slice off my previous best of 1 hr 56 mins.  It was 3 mins off my personal best time.  I clocked 1 hour 59 mins but I am still satisfied with my time.  The weather had been good throughout though it was threatening to rain anytime.

At the finishing with my hard earned medal 

At the finishing, I waited for the rest.  I managed to catch Catherine but missed out CK and Dora who had finished earlier than her.  Howie was still missing when we managed to find each other.  Jaq smsed to inform that she had a bad cramp at 15 km mark and therefore, she will be finishing later.  We finally found Howie and all 5 of us took a short walk to Killiney Cafe at Purvis Street for our breakfast before heading home.  We called Chua who was the only one among us to run the full marathon to check on his whereabouts and he was already on the way home.  He did 4 hours 10 mins for his full marathon, his best time ever.  I did not manage to clock my personal best this time but fret not, I will be back next year to attempt again.

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