This year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon will be a night race

FILE PHOTO: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

SINGAPORE — This year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) will be a night race for the first time in its history, with a 6pm flag-off on 30 November.

With the scheduling change, announced by race organisers Ironman Asia on Tuesday (28 May), the annual event will also shift to a new three-day format.

The family-friendly Kids Dash will take place on Friday (29 November) evening, while the 42.195km marathon/Ekiden team relay and the 21.1km half-marathon will be moved from the traditional Sunday start to Saturday evening.

The 5km and 10km races will be held on Sunday (1 December) morning.

Bid for Abbott World Marathon Majors

This rescheduling of race times has been undertaken in a bid to further the appeal of the SCSM, putting it closer to being inducted into the Abbott World Marathon Majors – a series of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world.

Having an evening flag-off will present benefits for both competitive and casual runners. Most notably, the cooler temperature is likely to lead to better performances for the elite runners, while casual runners can enjoy the night views of Singapore.

Tim Hadzima, executive director of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, said at the launch, “The changes for this year’s marathon are just a few parts of stringent criteria that we assess each year, as there are many stages of this process still to be met.

“We are excited to see how the runners react to the improvements that they will experience this year.”

Seventh marathon of series?

If successful, the SCSM could become the seventh marathon of the Abbott World series, joining the Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York City and Tokyo marathons.

Geoff Meyer, Ironman Asia’s managing director, said during the SCSM launch, “We are now closer than ever to the required criteria and strongly believe that the change in flag-off time, and a number of other improvements over the next two editions, will see more marathoners and community support than ever as we position ourselves to qualify in 2021.”

The SCSM has been recognised as a Gold Label event by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) since 2012. Since the inaugural race in 1982, the Singapore Marathon has grown to a mainstay in the Singapore sports calendar, attracting about 50,000 runners annually.

New spectator zones

To encourage participation and support from the public, organisers are introducing new spectator zones, which will feature lifestyle and entertainment offerings. This will add to the on-route entertainment points to motivate the runners during their races.

Organisers are also planning spectator-friendly race routes through Singapore’s city area, which will take runners past landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and the Singapore Flyer.

To begin preparing for this year’s race, runners can now participate in training programmes such as the Women’s Squad, run with pacers or get involved in SCSM’s virtual running community on Strava.

To register, please visit Standard Chartered Cardholders will enjoy a 15 per cent discount on registration fees across all categories.

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