The interest and enthusiasm about running has increased rapidly among Singaporeans in the past decade. Today, Singapore boasts an impressive number and variety of fantastic running events throughout the year.
At the same time, an increasing number of running enthusiasts are setting out to enrich their running experiences outside local boundaries. At first, it may appear overwhelming to get even a rough overview of various overseas marathon races, with more than a dozen marathon races worldwide with 40,000 and above full-distance participants.
We would love to provide RunSociety readers with an exclusive look into some of the world’s most attractive marathon races, along with some practical information for race entry. We start off with the world’s largest marathon race: The TCS New York Marathon.
TCS New York City Marathon – the Grandest Marathon
Sports coach David Tay feels that every race has its own beauty and history. David, who was among the first Singaporeans to run the World Marathon Majors series, has since returned multiple times to compete in the planet’s premier road races.
TCS New York City Marathon at a glance
- Date: 02 November 2014
- Runners: up to 50,000
- Spectators: nearly 2 million
- Distances: 42.195 km only
- Profile: ca. 390 m net ascend
- Temp.: 8-14°C on average
- Cut-off time: 8.5 hours
- Lottery: February-April
- Travel distance: 19h from SG
- Time difference: 13h behind SG
David is cautious not to arrange his global road racing experiences into rankings of attraction or preference, saying,
“I have no favorite marathon, as all of them have given me great enjoyment and experiences in their own ways.”
But the longer one listens to David, the harder to avoid the impression that New York is one of his top picks. It seems that the New York City Marathon is known for more than its huge and enthusiastic spectator crowd of almost two million supporters.
“The atmosphere was awesome and electrifying. I was simply blown away by the energy of the place. It feels like the whole city flocks to the streets, cheering after every single runner. And there is almost a hundred bands lining the race course, boosting your determination. The quality of their music would have had me stopping in my tracks to dance and sing along with them!”
Running Through Five Boroughs of New York City
But it is not only the entertaining distractions that may prevent you from running your personal best. Runners must be prepared for some elevation as they cross the iconic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Queensboro Bridge, and undulating Central Park.
New York can be quite chilly in November, especially in the early morning on Staten Island before race start. And runners arriving from Singapore will be faced by a 13 hour time difference too. But all of this is offset by the spectacular race course that leads you through fantastic scenery of one of the most vibrant cities on earth, via Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Manhattan into Central Park.
That is, provided you are given the chance to enter the race. With over 50,304 finishers in 2013, The New York City Marathon is the world’s most contested marathon when it comes to race entries, with a balanced lottery system in place to provide a fair chance to every individual registrant.
At an estimated eightfold number of ballots over entries, runners should plan their New York endeavor well ahead of time and be prepared to be patient. But even if individual runners have been lucky to win an entry in the lottery, it is virtually impossible to secure guaranteed entries to run with a small circle of friends or even with a partner.
Securing More Runners from Singapore for the NYC Marathon
David Tay has started addressing the entry bottlenecks by serving as an ambassador of the local and regional running communities to the New York City Marathon, saying,
“We felt that running communities here in Singapore were somewhat underserved when compared to running peers in Europe and America.”
His efforts paid off, and he managed to secure an additional allotment of race entries for runners from this part of the world, and he has been able to offer extra entries to runners from Singapore traveling to the New York City Marathon 2014.
Coach David explains,
“To begin with, runners tend to be unassertive with regards to traveling such a long distance, and both airfare and New York hotel rates may pose a challenge to the budget. But then they hear about the experience from their peers and friends, and they know it is going to be the marathon of their lifetime. They never regret it!”
And indeed, despite the extra allocations, entries for the TCS New York City Marathon 2014 are almost gone.
Along with the famous Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon, the New York City Marathon is one of America’s biggest and most prestigious marathons, and definitely should be on any marathon runner’s bucket list!