Singapore Marathon December 2011 – Experience Report
Yes, yes, yes I am lazy and that’s why I am writing about this marathon almost 7 months after it happened.
This is from the perspective of a foreign runner, running in Singapore for the first time.
Reached Singapore on Friday evening for the race on Sunday. Settled down and then in the evening decided to head for the Expo.
SUPER PRE AND POST ORGANISATION (WITH SOME GLITCHES): I was really apprehensive when I went for the bib collection because I saw a really really long line….was pleasantly surprised to be out with the bib in less than 15 minutes.
THE GOODY BAG & EXPO: This was a huge disappointment; in fact it should not be called a GOODY bag at all, only full of pamphlets. The expo area had lot of companies/products but the space for the crowd to move through and around was really small, several stalls had people moving shoulder to shoulder. Not a great experience, when you have 20,000 people registered (FM plus another 30,000 for the HM) please have a bigger space for the Expo!
Feeling a lot of nervous energy on Saturday morning, hot and sultry in the but still decide to go out for a short run to open up the legs and acclimatize a bit. End up running 6kms feeling really hot towards the end.
PRE-RUN BAGGAGE COLLECTION: There were long long queues of people once again, very apprehensive but managed to snake through in less than 30 minutes. However there should have been pre-race warnings to runners to come-in for baggage drop at least 1:30hrs before start time.
Loo facilities were a bit tight! Literally hundreds of runners stood in the bushes just metres from Orchard Road (behind the Hilton) and peed away to glory! Home sweet home J
REACHING THE START POINT: Again was huge issue. Thousands of people squeezing through very little space. Reached the start point 10min late, a lot of people were up to 30min late.
THE RACE: Race start till F1 pits – HUMAN TRAFFIC JAM. This is something which I am just amazed and quite annoyed with!! Most roads were cordoned off for runners but the space left to run was just about 10-12feet with 20,000 runners there was absolutely no space to move any which way. What were the organisers thinking allowing 20,000 people to register?! GREED?!
I am running on the sidewalk and in the corridors under the building. Stumble over some stairs and go down. Fortunately just some minor bruises on the hand. Up and running immediately.
Post the F1 pits things are much better although water points were very crowded. Suggest having point on both sides of the road to make sure the crowd parts two ways. Volunteers were superb trying to keep up with the thousands who were descending on them. Glad I am using my Nathan Endurance vest otherwise would have wasted a lot of time.
Pass 100s of runners on heartbreak flyover (about 36kms into the run).
LOVED the race itself. I manage a 4hr57min finish. Was tough, humid and hot and really tested the grit and determination of runners.
RUNNING ETIQUETTE: Sorely missing, was this really Singapore I was running in ?! People were walking in groups of 3 & 4 (and sometimes 5 & 6) together through narrow areas blocking the entire running path; “outstanding citizens” were tying shoes right in the middle of the narrow paths (very dangerous and of course stupid); people were throwing water cups in the middle of the road instead of to the sides. Surprised at all this given the very high civic standards of Singaporeans in general.
POST RACE: Superbly organised. In and out with medal and t-shirt in next to no time. There could have been something more substantial to eat like a banana post race but otherwise happy with the arrangements. Huge area for the runners to relax. Loved the cold water towels handed out by PayPal. Baggage collection too was a breeze although a bit of a walk.
Had a huge McDonald’s breakfast (the whole 9 yards!) before heading back to the hotel.
Will I race at Singapore again, highly unlikely. Should you run this race? Not unless you love heat, extreme humidity and very tight running spaces. Did I enjoy my Singapore Marathon experience – definitely!
Super thanks and kudos to all the volunteers who always had a smile on their faces!!