Any Singaporean looking across the water at our magnificent skyline/shoreline at night should take pride in the area’s metamorphosis, begun nearly 50 years ago.
Once nothing more than prime waterfront property looking for an identity, government stepped in, developed 360 hectares adjacent to the Central Business District and, voila! Singapore’s waterfront personality blossomed like a butterfly.
The S$35 million price tag associated with this area’s development was money well spent. In return for that investment, a vibrant transformation took place, turning the area into an epicentre of activity that plays host to all manner of social events — not the least of which is the annual Marina Run, a favourite nighttime marathon powered as much by competitor’s enthusiasm and excitement as the lights twinkling in the night sky.
Marina Run 2017 details
What’s your preferred distance? At Marina Run 2017, set to be flagged off on Saturday night, 25th February, you can have your pick of events that cater to all athletes and their skill levels: a 5km Fun, 10km competitive run and the contest that appeals to the souls of quintessential long distance runners: the 21km half-marathon.
Avail yourself of early bird rates by registering by midnight on 10th December 2016 here.
Secure a place as early as you can because once there are 7,000 registrants, you’ll be out of luck, no matter what fee structure is in place.
Finish the 10km or 21km and add to your treasure chest of memorabilia by snagging a Brooks finisher t-shirt and finisher medal. Don’t pout, 5km Fun Runners! You get a finisher medal, too.
Why run alone?
Of course you’re not scared of the dark, but why take chances when you can put together a team of four like-minded runners? It’s always more fun to run as a team and there’s an excellent chance that your boss will respond favourably to your plan to raise the profile of your company or brand by forming a corporate team that can't help but get great publicity.
But before you post a notice for team members on the break room bulletin board or grab the three guys nearest your cube, be advised that one team member must be a woman. If that describes you, you’re good to go!
Feeling reticent about asking your boss to sponsor a corporate team? Here's how to go about it: tell your boss that you’re concerned about the company’s bottom line, and urge him or her get your team on the roster before early bird rates expire on 10th December 2016.
You’ll not only recruit members faster once approvals are in place, but higher ups can’t help but see you as an employee eager to save the company money.
A run for all ages
It may surprise you to learn that people of all ages are invited to participate in Marina Run, including youngsters between the ages of 5 and 12, but parents must undertake the 5km Fun Run with the young ones because they can’t do it alone.
Precocious 14-year-olds are permitted to run either the 10km or 21km, so if you’ve an athletic prodigy at home, maybe he or she should test marathon waters at this event.
Registration matters addressed, getting your hands on your race kit should appear at the top of your must-do list. If you’re new to marathons, understand that you can’t participate without an official race bib number (for everyone) and timing chip (required for the 10km and 21km race).
Bookmark the the website to learn where kits are to be distributed on 11th and 12th February, as the time and location of the Race Expo venue have yet to be determined.
In case you’re waylaid or travelling, there are backup dates for picking up race kits on the 22nd and 23rd of February — and up to an hour before the race — but don’t push your luck by waiting or you could wind up watching the world race past you on that exciting night from a vantage point at the adjacent yacht club.
Arrive on time and relax
The race will start and end at Gardens by the Bay East at Rhu Cross. Show up early to get the lay of the land if you’re not already familiar with the area.
The 5km Fun Run starts at 4:30 p.m.; the 10km at 5:30 p.m., and both the 21km individual and team events flag off at 7 p.m.
Don’t show up late as each course closes exactly 30 minutes after flag off.
In truth, you have no excuses to be late since Singapore’s transport system offers many options, including a free shuttle service from Stadium MRT station CC6 - Exit B.
Alternately, cars, trains, buses and taxis get you where you want to go with a modicum of angst, but just because you arrive on time, that doesn’t mean you’ll have forever to finish your race. Cut-off times of 2 hours and 3.5 hours associated with the 10km and 21km races are non-negotiable.
Excellent performances will be rewarded
Why shouldn’t you strive to earn a cash prize by finishing first, second or third in any of the individual categories? Sure, you’ll earn bragging rights, but there’s plenty to be said about having an extra S$100 to S$300 cash if you triumph at the 21km half-marathon.
Not to worry if this isn’t your distance: trophies will be handed out following the 10km and 21km Team Challenges so you’ll have something to bring back to your office if your corporate team beats the competition.
But perhaps you’re stoic and, like most competitors, find joy in simply competing, enjoying the festive atmosphere and being part of the fabric of the Singapore running scene. You’re going to have a blast.
Everything a marathon requires to assist runners — from convenient aid stations where water and sports drinks are provided for those in need of assistance to ambulances and paramedics on perpetual duty.
There won't be any food available along the route, so invest in a running accessory capable of holding gels, power bars and the snacks you require to keep pushing to the finish.
Pacers will be on duty at both the 10km and 21km routes to motivate and encourage you, but if you bring your own cheering squad, that's even better.
Once your event is over and you've collected your finisher gifts, make it a point to check the Marina Run Facebook page on the days following the race. There's a chance race photographers snapped you enjoying your favourite sport against that gorgeous Singapore night sky.
If you run at night, do you ever feel nervous or insecure? What protective measures do you take to make sure you enjoy your run and get home safely?