I wanted to cap the year with an international race before settling myself into the groove of the festive season. I narrowed my choice to down to Singapore for quite a number of reasons. For starters, Sing is not that far from Manila (approx. 3 hours plane ride), the shopping is great and let's not forget the incredible food! So I decided to sign up for the Standard Charter Half Marathon 2017. As much as I would have wanted to run the full marathon, I didn't feel confident enough and well prepared to tackle that just yet.
From the onset, I have heard of a few horror stories with regard to the previous SC Singapore Marathon races; nightmarish baggage check-ins and baggage claims, super delayed gun starts and the humidity factor just to name a few. Needless to say I expected the worse but hoped for the best always keeping an open mind all through out.
For starters, claiming of the race kit was a breeze. It was quick and quite well organized. The expo venue at Marina Bay Sands was huge. There was a multitude of sports brands present and other exhibitors showcasing, demonstrating and selling everything from running shoes, apparel, computers, running watches, sports gels, energy drinks, eyewear and cycling gear to the latest medical therapy and treatment as well as promoters of upcoming races all over the world and souvenir photo booths. Whatever you’re after, it's all under one roof.
Towards early evening before race day, they started to clear Orchard Road of vehicular traffic; setting up barricades in anticipation for the race which is expected to draw a crowd of about 50,000 participants.
The gun start for the half marathon was only a few minutes delayed. Though the weather even at 4:30 in the morning was quite humid, it surprisingly got cooler as the day progressed with a little bit of rain showers keeping the sun at bay. As far as the race route was concerned, IT WAS AWESOME!!! In fact, I found myself stopping a few times just to take pictures which I never do. Beginning from Orchard Road, runners raced through Singapore’s shopping district heading for the Arab Street enclave. In the heritage stretch, we raced pass the National Museum of Singapore, the iconic Masjid Sultan Mosque, OId Hill Street Police Station, and traditional shophouses making out way to bustling Chinatown and the newly developed Downtown Core then making a U-turn towards Marina Bay Sands and headed back towards the finish line on the Padang. After the race, I simply collected my race kit and headed back to the hotel via MRT without difficulty. Now it’s time to eat all I want and enjoy what Singapore has to offer.
Despite the horror stories, I have to admit it was a beautiful race and would definitely consider doing it again next year. I know that this race was suppose to mark the end of this running year but I just may do one more before year end. Just maybe....😊
Orchard Road of vehicular traffic
The View During my Run
Post Race Meal ... " Chilly Crabs "
The winning smile :-)