If the only thing you love more than running is studying history, you’ll be doubly invested in the 3rd/4th December Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS), because those dates mark the 15th anniversary of this iconic race.
In fact, Standard Chartered Bank itself has its own proud history that began when the original institution was founded during Queen Victoria’s reign in 1853. The first Singapore bank dates back to 1859, three years before a Standard Bank was established in London.
These days, Standard Chartered Bank remains a loyal sponsor of sporting events on four continents and you would be hard-pressed to find a race that has earned as much respect, which is why celebrating this 15th landmark adds credence to its commitment best described by their statement:
“Our marathons characterise the values and attitude we believe in and live by every day — a ‘can-do’ attitude, a priority on strength of trust, willpower, stamina, and a determination to go the distance, no matter what.”
Everything Old is New Again
When organisers of the 2016 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) began their long-range planning not long after the 2015 event concluded, change was in the wind. It’s a tricky business making changes when events like the SCMS have such deep roots, but the makeover competitors will discover from the moment they sign up are going to make them so happy, they won’t complain!
Not only are new key races being updated, but there’s an old-new charity partner returning to this event: Community Chest.
Don’t get nervous! Tradition won’t be lost in changes like Orchard Road being the starting point for the race, where the Kids Dash on Saturday, 3rd December, and both full and half marathons staged on Sunday the 4th won’t feel much different than previous runs.
This route enhancement and positioning runners according to their estimated finish time will make the 2016 event run more smoothly than it has in the past. Who is responsible for this particular change? Runners, of course! Feedback about start-line congestion didn’t fall on deaf ears.
Early Holiday Gifts for Kids
When the Kids Dash flags off at 6 p.m. outside Ngee Ann City, parents won’t have to worry about safety because Orchard Road will be closed as an expected 5,000 children set off wearing Santa hats and begin sprinting along the route decorated with Christmas lights.
Youngsters aged 13 and under receive early holiday gift/entitlements guaranteed to delight: a cool running tee-shirt, finisher medal, complimentary drinks and snacks, a goodie bag, access to the kids carnival staged in conjunction with the Dash and the opportunity to make their parents proud.
Children can have their photos snapped with “Sharity,” the Caring and Sharing Community Chest mascot, and even the youngest racer can celebrate the fact that his participation raises awareness and money for disadvantaged peers.
Affordable entry fees for children won’t put a dent in the family budget at S$20 (Early bird) and S$25 (normal). The Super Early Bird registration fee of S$15 has already expired as parents rushed to register their kids.
Adult Competitors Won’t Be Disappointed
Sure, the kids get priority treatment every time the SCMS is run, but veteran and first-time runners won’t be given short shrift when they sign on. Like the kids dash, Super Early Bird registration fees have already been snapped up, but you don’t have to worry about inflation because fees haven't increased since last year.
Standard Chartered cardholders continue to qualify for a 15-percent discount, no matter which event they run.
But in the spirit of this landmark anniversary, even the SCMS Launch roadshow, the 4-day event that’s as popular with runners as is the marathon itself, is going to rely upon the race’s past to remind attendees of its heritage: anticipate browsing nostalgic displays filled with 14-years-worth of memorabilia representing this race’s archives.
Rare and not-so-rare items contributed by race ambassadors and collectors will charm visitors.
But what’s a commemorative race without a signature anniversary tee-shirt? No worries. New organiser Ironman is going to give away 1,000 of them on the road to the 2016 marathon via lucky draws and on-site activities sure to have competitors and visitors alike vying for these limited editions. Whether you’re a local runner or you live abroad and keep promising to run this marathon, why wait?
What You Need to Know
It’s hard to find die-hard Singaporean runners who have never competed in this event, but in case that describes you, allow us to introduce you to the ins and outs of the SCMS. First, this is no ordinary event. The SCMS continues to retain Gold Label status conferred by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The SCMS is always listed among international elite marathons that include New York City and London.
Which of the three different events — Marathon, Half Marathon and 10km — will you run? Register as early as you can because there’s always a chance that the maximum number of slots allocated each event will be filled even before the registration deadline of 15th November. As usual, Singaporeans receive discounted entry fee rates, so don’t delay.
Anticipate receiving your own future collectible treasures to bear witness to your participation in the 42.195km full 15th anniversary marathon: a logo-embellished running singlet, finisher tee-shirt, finisher medal, plenty of snacks and beverages to sustain you, an official e-certificate, goodie bag and every runners favourite: forever bragging rights!
The half-marathon comes with all of these benefits as well, and if you intend to participate in the 10km wheelchair category, your entry fee will be only S$20. Sign up for the Ekiden 42.195km distances with a team entry fee of S$460 split between six members and make history as a team. Additional details and your portal to registration can be found here.
Why Run the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2016?
Despite positive changes made to improve this popular marathon, it’s the history behind the run that is to be treasured most. New routes may come and go; entitlements change as do ambassadors and, in this case, even a new and respected organising team that’s recently been established here in Singapore.
But here are a couple of reasons that have nothing to do with tee-shirts and routes:
- You may have grown up during the past 15 years, and this fact alone gives you the opportunity to celebrate growing to adulthood during this era.
- The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore has set a high bar for all marathons, which is why just mentioning that you ran one earns you immediate respect.
- You can celebrate the inclusionary aspect of the SCMS over the past 1.5 decades: today’s wheelchair participants show how diverse this event has become.
- Improvements in the location and staging of the kids’ event reminds us that these little competitors are our future and as long as the SCMS remains an important part of the nation’s marathon community, we have every reason to believe that youngsters at this year's start line will be on hand for the 30th anniversary of this iconic event!
What is your favourite marathon memory from the past?