Ways to improve StanChart Marathon Race (Part 1) Posted on December 22, 2017

By Tan Mariviv

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Picture 1 – Team Flexifitness at StanChart Marathon 

Our Team Flexifitness coach, Coach Rameshon, current national record holder for full marathon, 2hr 24min 22sec, done in Chiangmai Marathon 1995, decided, last minute, not to run this year’s Singapore Stanchart Marathon after a pulling sensation was felt at the back of the knee. One of his friends, a doctor, had given advise for him to go down for the race and run if all is ok, but to pull out if necessary. However, he pulled out at the eleventh hour.

It took him 20min to go to his car at a hotel nearby to support our runners, but his effort went in vain as there were major road blockage all around. His story is the same as people who wanted to support but could not, as they were instead diverted in every part of the race. In the Stanchart marathon race, finally, Coach Rameshon parked his car at Tanjong Pagar, and ran about 3km to watch the finish, after fruitless driving. This shows that Singapore Athletics must do something about improvements in the marathon organisation, so that public can enjoy the race.

As such, I will enumerate the points brought up by the public and Flexifitness runners for suggestions to improve. Lately, it has been found not much progress being done and we hope that the organizers do something about this. Why? 70% of Flexifitness runners chose not to run as they feel that the way they organize, have to be changed.

These are the points: 

1) The organisers must make the route friendly for the crowd to cheer.

2) To get more professional help from overseas oraganisers who are successful in organising a race.

3) Many who wanted to see the race were detoured by the traffic police.

4) Last 9km of 10km race, the 10km runners had to zig zag all the way with the half marathoners which took up a lot of energy that is unnecessary and can be avoided.

5) The marathon race finish, only a handful of 5 officials were able to see the finish.

6) The organizers have to finds ways to make sure runners avoid accidents, the Singapore races have been found to have people taking selfies at the start line and they do not allow the faster runners to start at the very front. This was seen in Great Eastern race as well.

7) The team challenge needs scrutiny. It looks like the race is a mass challenge race rather that club challenge. At present, our club, Flexifitness, has 10 runners who have done sub-3 hours for various marathon, highest in Singapore, but in team event, we were not able to win the TOP 10. It seems ridiculous.

8) Water points volunteers need to have proactive people who can give out isotonic drink and water like how they give out in Chicago Marathon. The volunteers need to be taught to raise their hands up to give out the drinks.

9) Volunteers need to shout out to runners on whether to “Run” straight, “Turn right” or “Turn Left.” Orgainizers can also put some signs for runners to be aware.

10) Results have to be not just the TOP 8 runners for marathon category but TOP 10 runners for the individual category for different distances etc.

11) All team results must be announced the day itself during prize giving.