The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018 was my first full marathon overseas and my second to date. I’ve read about the event online and heard good reviews but I was encouraged by a colleague who wanted to join. We planned it out along with our other friends and we were supposed to join last 2017 but due to different constraints, we decided to push it to 2018.
A few months before the SCSM 2018, the rest started to back out (again!) and I wanted to push it through event if it meant going alone. Fortunately, I met other friends who registered. It wouldn’t be a lonely trip after all!
I went on offseason after I finished my 70.3 Ironman last August and focused on running which was utterly my weakest. I started building my mileage about three months before the marathon but just a month prior, I got injured and was advised by my doctor not to run or bike for a month. I was frustrated and had to undergo rehab. As the event was fast approaching, I feared that I might lose my endurance. I went against my doctor’s advise and only rested for three weeks. I started working on my mileage again and I didn’t feel much pain as long as I ran at a slow pace. As what they say, it’s all in the mind. Well, let’s see!
Saturday: The day before the Marathon
We went to the Marina Bay Sands Expo to claim our kits. There was no longer a long queue compared to the first two days. It was very organized and everyone was very courteous and accommodating. I got my race kit and shirt in less than 3 minutes after they scanned the QR code on my confirmation e-mail. We then moved to the next room which was the EXPO that seemed endless! The place was huge with a lot of merchant tents/stalls and you have no choice but to pass through it all like a maze until the exit (great strategy huh?). It was very tempting because a lot of items were discounted or on sale. I ended up buying a couple of “useful” items.
Sunday: The Marathon
The start line was at the F1 Pit building and when we arrived an hour before the gun start, the place started to get packed with the 42k and 21k runners. There were separate bag drop off stations for the different PENs. There wasn’t any queue and you just had to leave your bag and go. We then went to our assigned PEN. We changed our PEN just a few days before the race because we also wanted to start earlier. There were seven PENs (A-G) depending on the runners’ estimated finish time.
Since we were in the same PEN as the strongest, non-elite runners, our wave start was probably challenging because almost everyone was in beast mode while I just tried to maintain a very slow pace all throughout, trying not to get side-swept. While I just minded my own pace, getting my mind lost to my running playlist on Spotify and not caring about who I was running with, I enjoyed the view. It felt like I was on city tour while running with a smile stuck on my face. LOL Along the run route on the first half were a lot of cheerers, bands playing music and people on stilts who gave the festive vibes. Plus, it was also fun to see runners wearing costumes.
There were hydration stations + medical aid every 2 kilometers which helped me condition my mind that I had something to look forward to. Water and 100 plus were prepared which were more than enough. I think it was already past the 21km mark when gels, bananas, tiger balm etc. were already being offered.
As I reached almost 30km, my knee injury striked again. I could already feel the pain and finished the last 12k with a lot of walking. I already knew that I wouldn’t be able to hit my target but still focused on getting a PR. Around 9:00 a.m., the heat was starting to get unbearable and it was very humid. I could remember on my last 6k when I was already walking like a zombie looking for the next water station. And also on that last 6k was that long freakin’ bridge that I hated where I saw almost everyone was already walking. It felt like the longest 6k. By the way, our GPS watches showed 43km – 45km (We were running an ultra!). As per the race organizers, there was an interference with the GPS when we passed through the tall buildings.
I felt so elated to reach the finish line and to get that huge, hard-earned finisher’s medal. The size and design were totally different from the 21k, 10k and 5k medals. Tents lined up going to our exit where they gave us our finisher’s shirt, water, banana, cold towel, sports drink and chips. After the exit was the walkway which lead us to F1 Pit to claim our bags.
Overall, the event was very organized and the registration fee was worth it. KUDOS to the organizers! I highly recommend SCSM as a marathon+travel destination. (This is not a sponsored post)
check http://www.singaporemarathon.com for more info.