Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2016: Kenyans Secure Top Positions
The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2016 saw 46,000 participants run under the sparkling Christmas lights of Orchard Road and past some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks.
The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2016 successfully concluded its 15th edition on Sunday, 4 December 2016, where it drew a total of 46,000 participants across the five different categories - Kids Dash, Ekiden, 10km, Half Marathon and Full Marathon. This was however, a slight drop in participation from the previous edition, which saw over 50,000 participants.
With Ironman Asia organising Singapore’s marquee marathon for the first time this year, Geoff Meyer, Managing Director of Ironman Asia was evidently happy with the turnout. He said,
“I’m pleased with the turnout and success of the event this year. The event is one that has been largely popular among the local and regional community and the numbers certainly showed. This is our first time at the helm of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, and whilst we are happy with the outcome, we will strive to make it even bigger and better, and work towards our goal of making SCMS a leading marathon globally.”
Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO of Sport Singapore flagged off the race and shared,
“I’m glad to see that SCMS, over the 15 years, has grown into what it is today where it continues inspire runners from all walks of life to come together to give themselves a fitting finale to the year through sport. It is also the first year with new organisers IRONMAN, and we are pleased to see that they have incorporated new ideas to keep the event fresh and interesting for the community. We applaud all participants - runners, volunteers and especially our Team Singapore athletes for their effort and achievements.”
For the first time, the half and full marathons were flagged off in waved starts at 4:30am, half an hour earlier from previous editions. The arrangement provided runners with the opportunity to run alongside individuals of similar pace for the first 12km of the route under the bright Christmas lights along Orchard Road. It was also a cooler and more conducive race environment. The runners were later joined by the 10km race participants, who started at 6:45am at Esplanade Drive. All races concluded at the Padang.
On the simultaneous flagging off of the half and full marathons, Team Singapore athlete Mok Ying Ren felt that it was a positive move. He said,
“I’ve taken part in races where the half and full marathon started together, personally I like the feeling of so many runners starting together, and there are so many people to feed off for energy with the half marathoners going all the way to 12km.”
SCMS 2016 saw Kenya continue their impressive 15-year domination of the event.
Kenya debutant Felix Kiptoo Kirwa took home the top position in the Men’s Open, coming in with a timing of 2:17:17, with an impressive sprint finish on the home stretch to pull away from the close attention from fellow Kenyans, Paul Kios Kangogo, who took second place with a timing of 2:17:20, and David Kipkorir Rutoh completing the top 3 podium finish with a timing of 2:17:32.
On his win, winner of the Men’s Open, Felix Kiptoo Kirwa said,
"I was not expecting to complete the run in this timing as it is very hot and humid in Singapore...last year they finished in 2 hour 17 minutes, and I was not sure I could do the same. We have so many runners and they are so competitive. When I arrived at 40km, that was when I realised I may have won the race."
Similar for the Women’s Open category, the Kenyans dominated, with Rebecca Kangogo Chesir taking home the first position with a timing of 2:43:03, overcoming the close competition from compatriots Yator Viola Jelagat who took second position with a timing of 2:44:28, and Peninah Jerop Arusei coming in third at 2:44:53.
Singapore’s Mok Ying Ren won the Local Men’s category with a timing of 2:41:05. It is the seventh SCMS win for Mok, making him the most accomplished local runner in SCMS history.
On his victory, the 28-year-old Mok said,
“It’s a good achievement. Coming into this race I just started working 4-5 months ago, and have settled into a routine of running once a day, running home from work. I’ve retained some of my fitness from my overseas training.”
For the Local Women's category, Jasmine Goh, 37, was the fastest Singaporean woman with a time of 3:09:49.
Marathon ambassadors Paul Foster and Jaime Teo participated in this year’s race in pursuit of personal fitness goals.
Completing his first-ever half marathon, Paul said
“I’m really glad to have completed my first ever 21km, it wasn’t easy but I’ve been training for this over the past six months, and it’s comforting to see that the training has paid off. I hope that this will encourage others to pursue their fitness goals too. If I were to pursue my bucket list, the next step would be to pursue a full marathon.”
The event was however, marred with the unfortunate passing of a 29-year-old man after he collapsed during the half-marathon.