Standard Chartered Marathon 2014: Run with the Pacers

To prepare runners for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS), which takes place on 7 December this year, the organizers have arranged a series of training runs. The Running Department – the official pacers – are in charge of these sessions.

Happy group of runners at yesterday's Run with the Pacers session. (Credit: Pictureart)

Happy group of runners at yesterday’s Run with the Pacers session. (Credit: Pictureart)

Second Training Run for the SCMS Race

Yesterday, I took part in the second of the SCMS training runs. This was a two-hour run comprising of three different distances, based on the pace group that runners had opted to join at the session.

Runners put their stuff away at the Adidas store, before embarking on the run.

Runners put their stuff away at the Adidas store, before embarking on the run.

As I was running together with the 5-hour pace group (full marathon pace), I completed an 18km run. As well, there was also a 21km run for the faster groups and a 15km run for the slower pace groups.

Run started at the Adidas store at Suntec City

The run started at the Adidas store in Suntec City – at 7am in the morning. (Adidas is the official apparel sponsor of the SCMS this year). I must admit that it felt pretty weird to be heading to a shopping mall at that early hour, when all the shops were closed.

Furthermore, it felt even stranger to be walking in through the open doors of Suntec City – and subsequently finding out that the Adidas store was actually opened.

Soon, we were all ushered out of the Suntec City shopping mall, and asked to select and join the pacers based on our desired marathon-running pace. And then we were quickly flagged off, one after the other, with the fastest pace group heading out first.

Scenic running route

The running route was a scenic one. It took us from Suntec City and through the Singapore Sports Hub. We then ran along the Marina Golf Course before reaching the Marina Barrage and the Gardens by the Bay. The U-turn point for us was at the Flower Dome at the Gardens.

A shorr briefing for the runners, before embarking on the run.

A short briefing for the runners, before embarking on the run.

At the Marina Barrage, we were required to do a total of four loops up the hilly slope. This was the least enjoyable part of the run for me, because running hills has never been my favourite thing. However, I realise that they are important in helping to train a runner’s speed and stamina, regardless of whether they are fun or not.

Besides the Marina Barrage section though, I must say that the rest of the route was pretty flat and easy to run along.

Plenty of hydration

Throughout the whole run, Running Department had also arranged for ample water points. These comprised mainly of existing water fountains that were already in the vicinity. However I had thought it was very thoughtful of Running Department to actually locate them – and subsequently for the pacers to point out these to the runners as we were running past them.

In addition, there was a 100-Plus isotonic drink station located at the Marina Golf Course. This had been specially set up by Running Department for the training run, and I thought that this was very welcoming – possibly the best hydration station throughout the whole course!

Pacer groups get themselves organised.

Pacer groups get themselves organised.

Pretty enjoyable run overall

As a whole, it was a pretty enjoyable run and the pacers were very motivating and friendly throughout, with their constant chitchat and laughter.

However, I’ll admit that the final few kilometres did start to get a little exhausting and more energy was needed to keep up with the pacers, but I managed to do so. Energy gels weren’t provided today though – but I will definitely have some on hand, during the race itself on 7 December.

Finished as a group together with the pacers

At the end of the run, I am pleased that I managed to finish together with the pacers in my group, back at Suntec City.

I hope to be able to maintain this pace throughout the 42km race on 7 December – as doing so would give me a new personal best for the marathon.

The route for yesterday's scenic city run.

The route for yesterday’s scenic city run.

Training Runs and Lead Up Events for SCMS 2014

Haile Gebrselassie: The Greatest Long Distance Runner Ever

FAQs and Training Tips for SCMS by Top Runner Derek Li

SCMS 2014: Running in my Hub @ Pasir Ris

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