Starting their Sunday from as early as 4.30am, thousands of runners made their way down to the heart of the city for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) 2017.
The morning’s races included the marathon, half-marathon, 10km, and Ekiden categories. A Kids Dash, catered to children aged 13 and under, took place on Saturday evening.
Kenyan Pamela Jepkosgel Rotich crosses the finishing line to win the women's elite category of SCSM 2017. Photo: SportSG
Attracting a total of 48,400 runners across all its five categories, the event included both first-timers and regulars. Currently into its 16th edition, all of the national marathon’s categories were fully sold out, and featured participants of 126 different nationalities.
One common thread remained, however – the SCSM proved to be an enjoyable experience for its participants.
Men's Local podium finishers (left to right) Ashley Liew, Soh Rui Yong, Evan Chee). Photo: SportSG
First-timers and good friends, Mike Kaing and Saw Aung Min Htay, had signed up for their first half-marathon run together, and noted that the shared experience had been a fulfilling and memorable one.
Running together throughout, they provided each other with support and encouragement to push on.
Kaing said: “Normally when I run, I run alone. Even if I start together with friends, we split up after and meet at the finish line. Today, it’s different. We ran together and showed good team spirit!”
SCSM 2017 participants Zoe Lim and Cheong Hui Min. Photo: SportSG
Experienced participant Mok Shao Wei echoed sentiments rather similar to Kaing’s. Despite having run the SCSM for six times now, he revealed that the marathon remained a yearly affair for his circle of friends, who were all avid runners too.
“It’s [become] a habit! We always gather for the SCSM. It’s an event that we all make it a point to join. It’s an opportunity to gather as friends,” said the 35-year-old, who completed the full marathon.
Women's local winner Rachel See all smiles at the finishing line. Photo: SportSG
Of course, every SCSM also brings fresh new experiences for its participants, old- and first-timers alike.
It was even more so this year, with new race routes introduced for the half-marathon and marathon. These routes, which saw full road closures for over 90% of the way, brought runners through local heritage sites such as Little India, Chinatown, and the Malay Heritage area, as well as the Central Business District.
Men's local SCSM 2017 winner Soh Rui Yong crosses the finishing line in jubilation. Photo: SportSG
Several professed to enjoy the new route, including first-time SCSM runner, Zoe Lim. The 26-year-old, who completed her maiden half-marathon on Sunday, enthused: “[It was] super scenic! I also got great views of the Singapore Flyer too. It was really therapeutic.”
Even the new finishing line set-up garnered praise, as 53-year-old seven-time SCSM finisher Wong Kum Cheong remarked: “It allowed more people to view the race from the sides, letting others, especially those who weren’t running, to be a part of the race experience too!”
Mok Shao Wei (far left) with friends at SCSM 2017. Photo: SportSG
“It’s very cool seeing so many people out there doing the marathon, living healthier, happier lives through sports, which is the Sport Singapore initiative,” surmised TeamSG marathoner and two-time SEA Games gold medallist Soh Rui Yong, who had joined the SCSM for the first time.
This year’s full marathon also doubled as the National Championships, made possible by a partnership between race organisers IRONMAN Asia and Singapore Athletics.
SCSM Women's Local podium finishers (left to right) Mok Ying Rong, Rachel See, Jasmine Goh). Photo: SportSG
The national men’s title was claimed by none other than Soh, while his fellow TeamSG marathoner Rachel See was crowned champion in the women’s category.
Kenyans Cosmos Koech Kimutai and Pamela Rotich Kipsogei won the men’s and women’s elite categories respectively.
Speaking after the race, Geoff Meyer, managing director of IRONMAN Asia, said: “This year, we’ve made some important changes to deliver the best edition of SCSM yet.”
Kenyan Cosmos Koech Kimutai won the men's elite category of SCSM 2017. Photo: SportSG
“The team has already begun building on learnings from this year to enhance the race experience when the race returns on 8 and 9 December 2018!”