This morning, runners & pacers of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore gathered at the Standard Chartered Bank in the Marina Bay Financial centre (MBFC) – to meet up with Liverpool FC football legend Luis Garcia.
In town as part of the LFC World interactive exhibition
Garcia – who is most known for helping to lead Liverpool to Champions League glory back in 2005 after having gone three goals down to Italian team AC Milan – is one of the Liverpool football legends currently in town as part of the LFC World, an interactive fan exhibition taking place at Suntec City Mall and presented by the Standard Chartered bank, Liverpool’s shirt sponsors.
This exhibition, comprising primarily of a mini museum, gives football fans the chance to learn more about the past, present and future of Anfield, as well as to try out interactive football themed challenges that are targeted at bringing the complete Premier League football experience to life for the fans.
The exhibition is in town from now till tomorrow, 6 November.
And Garcia, together with his fellow Liverpool legends Gary McAllister and Ian Rush, are also at the event to sign autographs for the fans.
Give the runners a chance to meet Luis Garcia
So the club’s shirt sponsors Standard Chartered bank had taken this opportunity to get Garcia down for the pacer run – in order to give the runners an opportunity to meet up with him.
Gave a short welcome speech
Prior to the starting of the actual running, Garcia gave a short welcome speech and tossed a few autographed mini footballs to the crowd. Immediately there was a lot of pushing and shoving, as the runners clamoured to get their hands on the footballs.
Said Garcia to the runners, “I am excited for everyone running in the Singapore Marathon. Try to have a good race and just go for it.”
In fact, even as early as about 6.40am this morning, the runners and pacers alike, had been clamouring to get a piece of the football legend and to take personal photos together with him.
Security minders constantly stopped the runners at the beginning though, saying that Garcia needed to “have his own private time” too.
Most of the runners finally got their chance to have a photo taken, as we had walked from the Marina Bay Financial Centre towards the start point of the run – this been located around the Marina Bay Event Space.
Run had started at about 7.30am
After a short briefing, the run itself had started at about 7.30am.
Unfortunately though I must admit that I was a bit disappointed; I had expected Garcia to run a longer distance, but he started with the 3hour 45minute marathon pacers, and ran approximately the first 200 metres with them, before stopping.
The football legend then took a few more brief minutes to cheer on the remaining groups of runners – before making his move.
The organisers from Standard Chartered also admitted that they would have liked Garcia to complete at least one loop together with the runners – but the player had apparently decided otherwise.
Meanwhile, the rest of us had been scheduled to run either 21km or 24km – depending on what our running preference was.
A scenic running route with a bit of drizzle
The run was a pretty scenic route though. Runners completed loops of the Marina Bay area, running from the Marina Bay Event Space towards the Gardens by the Bay and U-turned just after the Marina Barrage bridge. This was a 6km loop.
The 24km runners did four loops of this.
Runners doing the 21km route, completed their final half-loop heading the opposite direction towards the Fullerton Bay hotel and then cutting across the Helix Bridge to return to the starting point.
The drizzle this morning had also helped to make it a very cooling run, and I would say that I had enjoyed it. The pacers were also lively and they had helped to encourage runners constantly, along the way.
But early this morning, I must admit though that I feared the run may not have taken place, because I had woken up to rain and a thunderstorm, but I decided to make my way out to head for the run, when I saw that the rain had been slowing down.
Completion of the run
Upon completion of the run, running participants had also received a Liverpool goodie bag comprising of a mini football, a cap, pen and a water bottle.
As well, there was also 100PLUS and water for runners to rehydrate themselves after the run, as long distance running is always a thirsty task.