More cheer for runners

More cheer for runners
From left: Paul Tagam, 54, Zac Chen, 33, and Michael Auyong, 52, are the first three online registrants for the StanChart marathon.

Participants in this year's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) can expect enhancements to their running experience.

Unlike previous editions which saw all race categories taking place on the same day, this year's event will be held over two days.

The 700m Kids Dash will now be a stand-alone event held on Dec 5 at the Sports Hub, while the remaining adult categories - the full marathon, the half-marathon, the 10km run and the Ekiden relay - will be held the day after.

This move was initiated as part of the organiser's efforts in ensuring the relevance of the SCMS among the different running groups in Singapore.

Said Chris Robb, chief executive officer of Spectrum Worldwide: "We're listening to what our runners are saying and doing our best to respond, and moving the Kids' Dash was one of those initiatives to stay relevant.


"Separating it to Saturday was an initiative after listening to the challenges parents had, with coming down early for their own runs before racing home to get their kids, running with their kids and the kids being in the heat of the day."

With the SCMS Kids Dash being held at the Sports Hub, the same venue as the Dec 3-9 ASEAN Para Games, Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (Sapgoc) chairman Lim Teck Yin finds this "a golden opportunity to synergise both events".

The Sports Hub will have a Para Games carnival and Lim - who is also Sport Singapore's chief executive officer - hopes that it will provide an opportunity to educate the public on the Games.

"We want to give our families, our children, a chance to play a para sport to understand the type of sports people with disabilities partake in and what some of the modified rules will be like," he said.

In commemoration of Singapore's jubilee year, former running greats such as P.C. Suppiah, who broke the 10,000m national record at the 1972 Olympics, have been invited to participate.

Another first in this year's SCMS is the introduction of the digital queue, which began on June 29.

Yesterday's event launch at Plaza Singapura saw the announcement of the winners from the digital queue. The first 10 winners will start alongside elite runners from the first pen on the start line, while the top 100 winners will get to run in their preferred category for free.

And while the physical queue this year at the event launch was shorter than in previous years due to the introduction of the digital queue, many still went down, with some like Zac Chen, 33, queuing from the day before.

"It is part of my running experience. I will feel empty if I don't queue. It is a fun experience and I get to meet old and new friends and I had a fun time catching up with them," explained Chen, who joined the physical queue even though he was first in the digital queue.

The first 200 registrants at the launch were entitled to a 50 per cent discount off their registration fee and a commemorative gold bib.

Changes in registration fees have also been made, with Singapore residents allowed to register at a cheaper price, in a bid to keep the runs affordable and accessible.

A total of 60,000 slots will be available across all the five race categories. Race routes will be disclosed at a later date.

This article was first published on July 10, 2015.
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