Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Standard Charted Marathon Singapore Race Report

This is the major event for all my 2011 races and my 3rd Full Marathon. This is a short trip, arriving on Saturday noon, run the FM, and heading home on Sunday night flight. Surprisingly the Firefly offered good price on their ticket (SBZ-SIN-SBZ, RM210 all inclusive fare), so I don’t need to take the trouble of travel to KLIA or LCCT.
Walking  from MRT to Marina Bay Sands
Race Expo Entrance
82 counters to serve runners
I stayed in Little India for this trip. Race Pack Collection for SCMS is at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. There is no direct access of MRT to the luxury hotel, and we need to walk some distance to the Marina Bay Sands hotel. This eventually tuned my mind to walking mode. Why not just walk back to the hostel after the race pack collection? The distance on the map doesn’t look that far. Spent some time looking around in the Expo, shopping mall, and sure inside the Casino (didn’t try my luck in the casino because the exchange rate is killing the mood on that). Started to walk back to Little India around 6pm. Had my dinner at Bugis Junction and back in the hostel to prepare the running gear, and hit the bed on 9:30pm.
Christmas Tree at Marina Bay Sands Shopping
Complementary 300ml water from Casino
Perfect size for my running hydration
The rain finally stopped
On my way walking back to Little India
The Finish Line already set!
The Padang is ready!
The AWA area is ready!
The race day start at 3am. Prepared myself and start walking/jogging to the Orchard Road starting point. Reached the baggage deposit counter around 4:30am, the queue is very long. I spent 50 minutes to drop my bag. I was a bit tension when it getting close to 5am flag off, but after that, I realized this is just part of the race experience, so I waited patiently with other Singapore runners. As I slow jog from the hostel, I don’t do any warm up and proceed to the starting line. It took another 15 minutes to finally cross the timing scanner at starting line. Its 36 minutes late from the flag off. So I will not achieve sub-6 hours according to gun time, but my mind was clear that time. No need to talk about gun time, I only need to prove this to myself so I will only look at my watch for the total time. Btw, I am still secretly hoping that I can achieve sub-6 from gun time (and subsequently a great 5.5 hours net time), so I fixed my pace to 7:15~7:45 minutes, chase mode ON. I am ok to maintain this pace until the 27km (where the banana station located). I walked some short distance while consuming the 2 bananas and managed to restart the engine to continue running.

Finally, the dreaded ECP came to the end. When we ran into the construction area around 31km, I don’t know why but I lost the momentum to continue running. I am fully agreed with some opinions voiced by other runners, why on earth that we need to run in the construction area? There are surely lots of other interesting places in Singapore for the Marathon. The balance distances were covered by running 1.5km, walk 0.5km between water stations. I knew that I will not make it back before 6 hours from gun time. So I just enjoyed myself at a slower pace. And finally, cross the finish line by 6:18’57”, it’s just 30 seconds behind my finish time on PNM and the net time is 5:43’45”, a very happy sub-6 result!
From official photographer
At the Finish line, by Tey
Real time tracking system
Race result analysis, started late and ended up with passing lots of runners
Official Result
Overall, this is a very well organized event but it’s just too crowded.
1. Supportive crews along the route. The ladies were cheering words of encouragement, gave extra boost to me (but how come I don’t remember hearing of guys cheering? May be there are some, but my mind just unable to register it :p ).
2. Sufficient water stations on every 2km. Although some of the stations were extremely jammed, but the supply never ran out. Btw, I felt like the water station around the construction stretch were located more than 2km apart, but this could be my perception as that time I am walking!
3. Hassle free baggage collection post race (directly opposite with the baggage check-in).
4. Apart from the ECP and the Construction site, the route is great; we covered some famous area in Singapore by foot.

1. Overly crowded for 20k FM runners. Especially the 20km on East Coast Park, bottleneck on every water station.
2. Missing or no distance markers especially on the ECP and the construction area.
3. Finish line joined with other categories. So far this one I can only imagine as the Full Marathoners who do 3~4 hours will hit the peak wave of human wall from HM and 10k at the 37km mark until the finish line.

Btw, when I look back to this Singapore trip, I guess I did too well. I am actually walked 4km from the Marina Bay Sands back to hostel on Saturday, walked/jogged another 4km from hostel to Orchard Road starting point, and walked 2km from City Hall back to hostel on Sunday. If the walking counted, I should logging an Ultra Marathon with total distance >50km :p (walked lots too after the race for shopping at Bugis area). Running in the compression tight definitely helps, at least I am still able to walk normally after the marathon.

I am very happy on accomplished my sub-6 marathon. Now, it’s time to plan for next step.


  1. Good job, Neoh :D 20K in the FM is a heck of a lot of people! I hope when I do my frist FM next year, the crowd won't be that much.

  2. Although SCMS is known for the flat terrain, it is still not a very easy route. You did well for a third FM. Keep at it!

  3. Hi Nick, don't worry about your first FM, it will be either SCKLM or RJM or PNM or PBIM. Don't think you can "tahan" until SCMS. If we have 5000 runners in any of the Malaysia FM, it will be in the Malaysian records :P
    Hope we can start together in some of the races next year :D

  4. Thanks Francis! More FM to come next year and hope I will improve my timing.

  5. Welldone Neoh...I can't imagine how it would be running non-stop for more than 5 hours..and yet looks good after the race! you must be having lots of strength and stamina. What's the secret?

  6. Hi Pang, actually I still need to walk some distance in this Marathon. If one day I can run the whole 42km, I should be finishing within 5 hours. :D

    There are no secret about running, all you need is training. It is a sport that you will only get what you put into it.

  7. Hi Neoh, i know this is off track and this post is like a year already.

    this year is my first time (my second 10km! :) for SCSM :)
    Care to share which hostel you stayed in?
    thanks heaps.

    1. I stayed in Footprints Hostel near litter India during SCSM.