National Vertical Marathon 2015: A Climb To The Top

The format of the National Vertical Marathon is unique compared to many other races in Singapore. Making full use of the numerous skyscrapers in Singapore, the participants are required to race against each other – up flights of stairs, instead of on flat roads.

The carnival atmosphere at the National Vertical Marathon 2015.

The carnival atmosphere at the National Vertical Marathon 2015.

The 2015 edition was held at the 63-storey One Raffles Place building, with categories catering to individuals as well as families and corporations. And there was also a massive carnival awaiting the participants after their climb – featuring a myriad of items such as Ramly burgers, ice cream, frozen shakes and kachang puteh.

Lots of food was available.

Muah chee was one of the foods made available.

Participants enjoyed themselves

Many of the participants who had taken part, definitely had an enjoyable time at the event. Said Tay Min Xia Cacie, 17, a student at Yishun Junior College, “The event was great. It was well organised and everything ran smoothly. I have no regrets about joining my first Vertical Marathon and I should be coming back again next year.”

Writing their well-wishes for Singapore at the post-event carnival.

Writing their well-wishes for Singapore at the post-event carnival.

Found the event challenging

However, the student admitted that she found the climb itself rather challenging though. She said, “It was very tough. Though we could take breaks if we’re tired, I persevered and I didn’t want to stop. But when I finally reached the top, I felt very happy that I had achieved something with my own hard work.”

Many found the view from the top rewarding. Credit: Ethan Teo.

Many found the view from the top rewarding after the Vertical Marathon.
Credit: Ethan Teo.

Fellow participant Winston Bay, 20, a Full Time National Serviceman, also agreed that stair climbing requires quite a lot of effort. He said, “I didn’t do much training for this  but that’s partly because I am in the army so I should be quite fit. But along the way though, it got a bit tiring, and the difficult thing is that you have to keep pushing on and fighting against fatigue. Every level you climb, it just gets harder and you simply have to keep on persevering.”

A participant tries out the surfing simulator.

A participant trying out the surfing simulator at the post run carvival

Vertical marathons are easier than road running

On the other hand though, some participants, such as Seah Fung Ling, found the vertical marathon easier compared to running on flat roads. Said Seah, 20, a Material Science & Engineering student at Nanyang Technological University, “It was easier than I had expected and I finished this in about 20 minutes. That’s even shorter than a 5km run. I actually thought it would be harder because many people say that stair climbing is more difficult than running road races.”’

Delicious Ramly burgers awaiting hungry participants.

Delicious Ramly burgers awaiting hungry participants.

Important to control the breathing

Seah added though, that some of the climbers could have had problems though, because they can’t really control their breathing very well. She said, “When doing stair climbing though, I generally think that it’s quite important to stabilise your breathing because a lot of people don’t – and that they find it quite hard to breathe and climb at the same time.”

Trying out the gigantic UNO STACKO game.

Trying out the gigantic UNO STACKO game after the run

Stair climbing is good for strength training

Fellow participant Jason Lim, 32, a civil servant, added that stair climbing is also good for training strength. He said, “To climb stairs, you must have good stamina and strength. And as this climb was about 63 storeys, it is also good training for the core muscles. It’s quite different to road running, which is more about endurance.”

A participant picking up an ice cream cone.

An ice cream reward after a thirsty run

Lim said that he enjoys taking part in vertical marathons because they provide a variety for him compared to running on flat roads. He added, “My timing was slower than last year’s – because age is catching up with me, but I will be back next year, for sure.”

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