This morning, the final lead-up training run took place – to prepare participants for the StanChart Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2015.
Run took place at Suntec City
The training run began at around 7.00am outside the Suntec City Shopping Mall and there were two distances. Half Marathon runners completed 12km and the Full Marathon runners did 15km.
The route took runners from Suntec City and along Nicoll Highway towards the Singapore Sports Hub, Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Barrage.
The Half Marathon runners U-turned at the Marina Barrage bridge, while the Full Marathoners had continued on for another 1.5km to reach the Gardens by the Bay’s iconic Flower Dome, before U-turning.
The weather was quite hot
Though the weather had been pretty hot, it was a rather scenic run, passing many of Singapore’s iconic landmarks, and participants had enjoyed the group training run as a result.
Said Rachel Mausell, 26, an occupational therapist, “It felt good to get together as a group and run today – and at the same time, to sort out a few niggles before race day. It’s definitely better to fix these up now rather than finding it out during the race itself.”
She added, “Singapore weather can get very hot – it was great running against that sort of weather today, but I am sure that it will be much more intense on the day of the race, when we run the marathon itself.”
Rachel, an Irish who had moved to Singapore just less than two years ago, will be taking part in her very first marathon at SCMS 2015 – after having been persuaded to do so by her friend, physiotherapist Sarah Dinnen, 23.
Added Sarah, “Today was definitely quite hot, but actually, I felt the heat more at the beginning – when I was still stiff and tired after waking up so early in the morning to head down for the run. But then after about 4 to 5km, after I got into my stride, I started to enjoy the run and the heat didn’t feel so bad anymore.”
Sarah has already run three full marathons, but the SCMS 2015 will be her first race in Singapore’s tropical heat. Said Sarah, who is also from Ireland, “This will be entirely different to the other two. Those were in Ireland and Boston, which are both much cooler. So I am just hoping to finish the marathon and will not be targeting any timing. I struggle in the heat massively.”
Energy gels are her secret strategy
However, she has a secret strategy on race day – energy gels. Said Sarah, “One of my friends, who is a seasoned marathoner, had recommended me taking a gel 45 minutes into the race, that is, take them before you need them rather than after the fatigue and the hunger sets in. I had a gel during today’s training run – and gels are totally like ecstasy for runners!” So she will be bringing six gels on race day, in order to get as much energy as possible.
Said Sarah, “It’s better to be over prepared than underprepared. So what if I don’t finish them? I can always use them for my next race.”
Taking energy gels is definitely important on race day – as long as the runner does not try a new variety, added Terence Teo, 33, the head of the official SCMS 2015 pacers – from Running Department.
Do not try anything new on race day
Said Terence, a digital marketer, “Do not try new foods that you have not tried for a race – in the days leading to the race, and during the race itself. The last thing that you want is to have stomach ache and go to the toilet halfway because you ate something that you shouldn’t have.”
He added, “On the morning of the race, practise what you have been doing for your past runs – do not change anything drastically. The starting time of 5am is very early for the marathon, so if you know that your digestive system is slow, go for something light. But if not, waking up two hours earlier – to eat something – will be fine. Still though, do not have anything heavy.”
Besides food consumption, getting enough sleep is also important. Said Terence, “I even tell the pacers themselves that getting enough sleep is important to be ready for the race.”
Enjoy the process of running the marathon
But that said, Terence says that there isn’t very much that you can do, if you are suffering nervous pangs in the days leading to the race and feel as though you are not as prepared as you would like to be.
He explained, “You have already done what you can, so on race day, enjoy the process. There is nothing much more to do now, in terms of training. Just do your light runs and have plenty of hydration and stick to what has been tried and tested. And oh, don’t forget to have fun.”
Pacers to help those runners who are targeting specific timings
For those who have specific timing goals on the day of the race, Terence adds that you can follow the pacers. He said, “With the training that they have been doing for the past seven to eight weeks, I am sure they are ready to help the runners and bring them to the finishing line within their target timings.”
At this year’s edition of SCMS, there will be pacers for both the full marathon as well as the half marathon distances. At previous editions of the race, there had been no Half Marathon pacers.