Thit year's Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon will adopt a smoother and safer 21km route for their 20,000-plus participants. Last year, runners complained of a bottleneck under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and poor lighting along the Skyline Promenade Park Connector, by the Kallang River.
Both problems have now been addressed after feedback from 23 runners from the Safra and Team FatBird running clubs.
"Last year it was really crowded underneath the Sheares Bridge, you could easily lose five to 10 minutes there," said Mr Kyle Hor, 54, from Team FatBird. "We were breathing each other's stale air and it got in the way of momentum we established earlier."
Ground lights along the Connector also had little effect."If it's too dark, you might trip and fall," said Mr James Tan, 46, from the Safra Running Club.
This year runners will avoid the 1.7m wide path under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and instead turn right to Rhu Cross where the path is almost 7m wide.
The Connector will be illuminated with overhead floodlights.
Organised by Safra and the Army, the main event is a competitive 21km half-marathon. There is also a 10km run plus a non-competitive 5km Fun Run and an 800m father-and-child challenge.
Half-marathon runners will start from the Esplanade, run past Gardens by the Bay and head towards the Kallang River. They will also run past the new Sports Hub with its trademark dome.
"You can expect a safer run route and good scenery," said Brigadier General Tung Yui Fai, chairman of the organising committee.
More than 40,000 runners have signed up for the Aug 31 event. Two out of three national servicemen have signed up for the 21km run this year, up from 60 per cent last year. The rest will run five or 10 km.
"I am glad that more NSmen are keeping fit and challenging themselves to longer routes," said Minister of State for Defence Maliki Osman, who is also deputy president of Safra.
Registration closes on Aug 7.
This article was first published on July 16, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.