Public registration for this year’s Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) doesn’t officially open till 11am tomorrow.
But with the $1 race slots on offer, the queue at Ion Orchard has already started… more than 24 hours in advance. At 8.04pm this evening, there were already 15 people waiting to get their hands on the $1 slots.
First person in the queue arrived at 9.45am
The first person to arrive was 31-year-old fitness instructor Gerrard Lin, known as Ah Siao amongst the local running community. He famously completed his first Full Marathon at the SCMS 2012 with a tyre tied to his waist. He also ran 31 marathons in 31 days in March – as part of his charity efforts to raise awareness for the Bone Marrow Donor Programme.
Ah Siao had started queuing at 9.45am this morning and his round, rubbery running buddy from the 2012 SCMS will keep him company overnight.
On why he had arrived so early, Ah Siao said, “I have never won anything in my life before, so I decided to do something worthwhile and be number one in the queue.
Added the runner, “The (42km) marathon is an event that challenges you to go beyond your limits and inspires me to go even further.
“People say it’s just a waste of time, but I say we can make new friends!” Ah Siao explained. So in this way, he views the many hours spent in the queue, completely worth the effort.
Republic Polytechnic student’s first SCMS
20-year-old Venice Ng, a Republic Polytechnic student, also arrived at about the same time as Ah Siao. This will be her first SCMS, and she is very eager about the prospect of taking part in the race.
Said Ng, “I am very excited about taking part in the SCMS this year. I think the $1 entry fee is a very interesting promotion. I want to take part in a big-scale event and wanted to give it a shot at being the first in line.”
Some runners came all the way from KL to queue
But not all those in the queue are Singaporeans. One such runner is 39-year-old Nicholas Leong, who comes from Kuala Lumpur (KL). He reached Ion Orchard at 1pm in the afternoon.
“KL is actually quite near to Singapore. Last night, when I heard of the limited Adidas shoe giveaway for the first 42 registrants and the $1 entry, I took a coach from KL to Singapore this morning,” he explained.
The good thing about spending the night outside Ion Orchard… is that Leong can save on hotel fees!
Becoming friendly with one another
Whilst waiting for the race registration to open tomorrow, these runners have all been making friends with each other and chatting to their fellow runners in the queue.
Said Ah Siao, “We are going to entertain people and I will be making videos of the many happy memories.”
Some have also gone the extra mile, by taking food orders from fellow runners in the queue, to make sure that none of their newfound friends go hungry.
“We’re eating lots of fast food and unhealthy fried food, such as Four Fingers and Popeye,” Ah Siao said. He admitted that it is not particularly nourishing food for runners – but then again, this isn’t fare that they eat everyday!
On top of that, Ah Siao has also brought packets of biscuits with him, which he’ll be sharing with his fellow hungry runners tonight.
Sleeping on the street
Will these runners be getting any sleep?
Said Ah Siao, “For me, I’ll be sleeping like a hobo. I only have a piece of cardboard with me.” So he’ll be gazing at the starry sky and lying on his makeshift cardboard sleeping bag tonight.
Total of 100 $1 Race Slots Available
There are a total of 100 $1 race slots available at the Ion Orchard launch event. These include 42 slots for the 42.195km Marathon, 21 slots for the 21.1km Half Marathon, 10 slots for the 10km Race and 27 slots for the 750m Kids Dash.
They will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis.
Limited Edition Adidas Running Shoes Given Out
In addition to the $1 race slot, the first 100 runners in the queue, including Ah Siao and Venice, will each receive a pair of limited-edition SCMS Adidas BOOST running shoes.
Can still receive a Limited Edition Goodie Bag
And if you don’t manage to snag a $1 slot, you can still receive a limited edition goodie bag, provided you are amongst the next 500 runners in the Ion Orchard SCMS queue.
So head over to Ion Orchard and register for your race slots now.
Watch this space for my next update on the SCMS $1 slots.