Monday, December 7, 2009
SCSM - The People's Marathon
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) which has capped its participation at 50,000 runners for logistical reasons, is now one of the biggest marathons in the world. The organizers are very ambitious and there is a possibility to expand the event to make it a people’s marathon.
The other famous marathons around the world feature far lower numbers. The Boston Marathon, which is the only marathon apart from the Olympics that requires a qualification time, averages 20,000 participants. This year, 90,000 applied to run the New York Marathon. The number of entrants was capped at 30,000. In Asia, 27,075 signed up for the Beijing Marathon. The Tokyo Marathon scheduled for February 2010 is expected to attract 30,000 participants.
Singapore Marathon started in 2002, when only 6000 took part then. What distinguished SCSM from the other marathons is that it has focused on the average runner, there were young people, older ones and even people running the race pushing prams with their own individual reasons and purpose competing primarily against themselves, raw pleasure of running.
Kenyan Luke Kibet won this years’ SCSM with a time of 02hr 11min 25sec and received US$35,000 (P1.6m) and Albina Mayorova of Russia clocked 02hr 32m 49sec who as well received US$35,000 as cash prize.
For my personal experience, the SCSM was enriching and a wishful dream that someday such an event would be a possibility in the Philippines. I have been to marathons abroad, but, by far SCSM is the most organized on all aspects of the race logistically, technically and on crowd control management.
At 5:00am entry to the holding pen for participants of the full marathon was opened. It was a sight to behold, elite runners were on the forward section, the sub-4/5 on the middle and those over 5 were at the 3rd sector of the pen. For the full marathon, there were 17,500 starters and just imagine the long sea of runners waiting to be started. One minute before the start there was total silence as required by the organizers so that when the starting horn is sounded it can be heard by all. Then at 5:30 the starting horn was sounded and again festive sound played. From where I was positioned at the start it took me more than 5 minutes to finally cross the starting line. You could just imagine the long line.
42.195 km is a distance to respect and lots of things could happen along the way. I would like better share to you the event in pictures hereunder which would do actual justice to the scenes and happenings during the event.
It took me 06hrs 15m 30sec (chip time) 06h 20m 21sec (clock time) it was way over my LA Marathon finishing time of 06h 00m 15sec. Just to accept the fact that as time passes by at my age, you just get slower. Slower does not necessary translate failure, but, something to be thankful to God that he has still up to now blessed me with good health to enjoy running in its raw form. I pray for more years of injury free running.
The SCSM was as great event to close my personal 2009 running adventures.