This was a marathon race with a difference – it was held to welcome one avid Austrian marathoner, Dr Anton Reiter, 60, to Singapore.
The Chairman of the Austrian 100 Marathon Club and who has run 180 marathons, Anton is on a three-and-a-half months’ long world cruise with his family. And he tries to run marathons during his cruise – at ports or even on the ship itself.
This morning’s Singapore Invitational Marathon, which was organized by the F1 Runners Team, was one of Anton’s “main highlights” of his world cruise. This also happened to be the marathoner’s very first race in Asia – and he did it in 4 hours 43 minutes and 21 seconds.
For this run, which attracted 30 marathoners, the route started and ended at the MacRitchie Reservoir Park, with a mixture of road, trail, gravel, clay and stone tracks.
To help a runner achieve his wish
According to F1 Runners Team trainer Lexxus Tan, 41, the F1 Runners had organized this run to help another runner to achieve his wish in running marathons while on a cruise. Said Lexxus, “It is my pleasure to do something for Anton that he would find valuable.”
He added that he had wanted the marathoner to leave Singapore with the impression that Singaporeans are a very friendly bunch of people – so why not start with the running circle, where people are generally friendly to one another in the first place?
“So this means that we (the Singapore running community) should take the first approach,” he explained.
Hot and scorching weather
The initial speed of the runners did not quite turn out the way that Lexxus had expected. He said, “The runners were so much faster than I had initially anticipated for the first 19km, but in the second half of the race, they were pretty tired, though. I think the weather today was also scorching, so many of them could not take the heat in the end.”
Anton agreed that the weather was much hotter than he was used to experiencing – in Austria.
Said the marathoner, “The weather was really humid and that was a real challenge for me.”
Fellow cruise passenger Montse Pereira, 34, from Spain, agreed. She explained, “The weather here was very hot and humid, and not cool, like I am used to.”
Challenges of trail running
But the fitness trainer in cycling and pilates added that she generally enjoys trail running though, because of the challenges that it poses – compared to road running.
In fact, the challenges of today’s trail route were so difficult that industrial sales manager Daniel Chow, 47 even termed this invitational marathon as “the toughest marathon in Singapore” that he has ever undertaken.
He added, “You really do have to watch where you are stepping. It is very taxing on the feet – not just the leg, but the ankle and the entire foot too.”
This is despite Daniel being quite familiar with this particular trail route, as he trains regularly at the area, together with the F1 Runners Team.
Trail running an eye-opener
As for new trail runner Jeffrey Leong, this invitational marathon was an eye-opener for him and introduced him to the benefits of trail running.
“It was my first time doing a trail marathon,” the 53-year-old operations supervisor said, “I never knew what trail running was like until I joined this marathon and did the orientation runs.”
Ignited his passion for trail running
But Jeffrey’s experience this morning, has certainly ignited his passion for trail running. He said, “Maybe I will consider doing the MR25 cross-country trail marathon, which will be held around June.”
He also added that running today at the MacRitchie Park trails was easier, compared to the Rifle Range section – the latter of which formed a large part of the route for today’s marathon.
“Maybe that is because there are so many runners at MacRitchie, that they have flattened the trail – making it much easier to run!” he quipped.
Organizer Lexxus agreed that the route was a difficult one, and said that today’s race was “quite tough to handle, partly because of many turns and roundabouts.” So he thought that the runners did really well – with all completing the challenging marathon in less than five hours.
More on the Invitational marathon
Click here for a personal account and interview of the invitational marathon by Dr Reiter himself.
More on Dr Anton Reiter
- Click here to read about Dr Anton Reiter’s marathon on a cruise ship.
- Click here to discover more about avid marathoner Dr Anton Reiter.
- Click Here to read about Dr Reiter’s luxury cruise holiday.
- Click here to read more about drill and circuit training by F1 Runners Team.