Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore attracts more than 53,000 participants

SINGAPORE - More than 53,000 runners took part in this year's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) with two-time Olympic gold medallist, Haile Gebrselassie, flagging off the Marathon category.

The Ethiopian legend also took part in the 10km race, marking his debut run in South-east Asia.

Finishing his race in third place, Gebrselassie said: "The crowd in Singapore has been fantastic and I treated the race as a celebration. It's a wonderful atmosphere and everything was great, except the weather. The humidity is not something I expected but the guys from Kenya really pushed me to go faster."

Runners took off from various locations - Orchard Road, Sentosa Gateway, and Esplanade Drive - and made their way towards the Padang, where they proceeded to celebrate completing another personal milestone for the year.

Kenya's Kenneth Mungara took home the win in the male category, reclaiming the crown he had won back in 2010. He had finished the race with a time of 2 hours 16 minutes 42 seconds (2:16:42).

Commenting on his second victory, Mungara said: "The race today was very nice, the weather was good and I enjoyed it. I was alone and didn't have someone to push me to go even faster. I aim to be back again and to set a new course record."

Gebrselassie's female compatriot, Waganesh Amare, broke the hold the Kenyans have had on the Marathon category with her winning performance of 2:46:54.

"The weather was really warm but I'm very happy to win the race here, especially because it's been won by Kenyans so many times. I really didn't expect to win, but in spite of my fatigue at the 39km mark, I felt if I pushed a little, I could really win the race, so I persevered."

Singaporean participants also took home titles of their own.

Local favourite Mok Ying Ren defended his title in the Marathon (Men) Singapore category, crossing the finishing line with the time of 2:53:42 while Rachel See won the Marathon (Women) Singapore category with a time of 3:17:13.

Mok said: "I am very happy, this is my longest run since my injury ... Moving on, I want to qualify for the next SEA Games and focus on the training once I finish NS in April."