Do runners ask silly questions? Some do. Some don't. But as a resource for runners, we've fielded some truly amazing ones from well-meaning people, and if enough of them come our way, we compile a respectable list.
For some reason, the 30 July Singapore City Race 2016 has prompted some truly unusual questions, so if you've an interest in reading them, we're also supplying the creative answers our editorial staff came up with for your entertainment.
The Singapore City Race 101
Q. There are four different categories at the Singapore City Race — Long (40km), Mid (25km), Short (16km) and Mini (8km). I can't decide which one to choose.
Ans: Seriously? You haven't a clue which one you can accomplish without passing out? Here's our suggestion: consult the people with whom you usually run. If they all agree that it's not in your best interest to run anything but the Mini, please take them at their word.
Q. Is it true that every store in the city is giving discounts in honour of this race?
Ans: We wish — and we promise that if this ever comes to pass, you'll hear it from us. That stated, as a race participant you can ask for discounts at all Running Lab and North Face satellite stores in Singapore. We might even see you there!
Q. I tend to get lost. Will I be given a map at the start line?
Ans: Here's our collective advice: If everyone around you is heading in one direction, follow them and you can't get lost. That said, you will get a race map with marked control points across the island on race day, but we remain resolute in our advice: given your propensity for being directionally challenged, please follow the crowd.
Q. I'm only 11-years-old but my granny has cancer and I want to compete solo for her. Can I?
Ans: Sadly, you're not yet old enough to run this race on your own (it's open only to those 14-years old and up) — but you can get your family to form a team of up to 6 people and you can be one of them. And would you please tell your parents that they're doing a great job raising you? Having compassion at your age is rare.
Q. We're forming a team and we're barely talking to each other because we were told that only one team leader will receive a timing chip. How do we decide who takes control of the chip since we're each strong-willed and we all lay claim to being the leader?
Ans: We've talked to the editorial staff here and we believe you may need group counselling if you can't settle this minor dispute on your own. How about playing musical chairs and the last one to grab a chair is the leader?
Q. Someone told me that my individual timing won't be counted as a team member. Is that true?
Ans: Can we assume that you've never before run as part of a team? If you're feeling badly about having your time ignored, perhaps you may want to run solo, instead.
Q. Why are The Singapore City Race organisers making such a big deal out of hydration on race day?
Ans: Have you ever been in the presence of a runner who ignored his thirst, skipped hydrating and wound up in hospital? It's not pretty. Body parts can be damaged permanently and organisers of The Singapore City Race want to make sure that doesn't happen on their watch.
You must agree to carry hydration in the form of a belt, bag or bottle. That stated, we are reminded of the old adage: “You can lead a camel to water, but you can't make him drink.” Ignore your thirst in the name of finishing faster and there could be serious consequences.
Q. Is it true that the runner's t-shirt I'll be given as an entitlement is worth almost $50?
Ans: That's what organisers told us and we believe everything they say.
Q. Must I cross the finish line to collect a finisher medal?
Ans: This particular award is called "the finisher medal" for a reason. Think about it.
Q. Suppose I change my mind about participating in the Singapore City Race? I may have to leave town on a work-related matter. Can I get a refund?
Ans: If you officially bail before 23:59 hours on 30th June, you are entitled to a 50-percent refund cheque, but you must submit your request in writing, because for all race organisers know, a friend could be playing a prank by making a phone call to cancel your participation.
Put off your action for one more minute on 30th June and you're out of luck. And, no, you can't transfer your registration, either.
Q. I hate those shoe tag thingies that flap around my laces. Can I skip wearing it and report my own time?
Ans: Sorry. This is an equal opportunity race: Everyone must wear a shoe tag.
Q. I want to skate this race and my buddy wants to cycle it. Does it cost any extra to register?
Ans: Not a cent since both of these are prohibited.
Q. I happen to love running barefoot. Will that be allowed?
Ans: No. What are you thinking, given the number of germs you would be exposed to on the run route?
Q. I'm writing this anonymously because I'm in a Witness Protection Program. Can I run without being photographed?
Ans: That would be impossible since the organiser is going to cover every aspect of the race and use the images for media and promotional purposes throughout the world. If you don't want bounty hunters waiting for you at the finish line, skip this event in favour of a longer life under whatever new identity you've been provided.
What's the silliest question you've been asked about a race or marathon? Add to our library by making your story a contribution, and if you happen to be in a Witness Protection Program yourself, just sign it Anonymous.
Think you know every place in Singapore? Prove it at the Singapore City Race 2016!