I love to combine sports and travel, and running is a great way to see a city. You can view the tourist spots or detour and investigate the path less trodden. You also fit a lot more in, although I have to say that it is an optimum way to get an overview of a city, rather than know it in-depth. Obviously, the more you run the more you see.
Sunday’s race unfortunately wasn’t about a tour around the city. I’ll call it a sandpaper race. You have to take the rough with the smooth.
I took part in the half marathon (beating my Significant Other officially by 10 seconds, unofficially by 30 seconds. Either way I won, and that’s very important in a marriage of equals.)
If I was visiting Singapore for the race, I might have been a little disappointed. (I can only comment on the half marathon. I may be Superwoman to some, but even I can only manage one race at a time.) The route started in an impressive way. We lined up at the Sentosa Gateway and meandered across the island, saying hello to various overheating cartoon characters lining the path through Universal Studios. There was a great vibe, and high-fiving Puss in Boots partly made up for the dearth of supporters. It was only 7am, after all.
Then the route took a dive into the underground car park, where the bus engines idled. Having not had our fill of carbon monoxide, we were spewed up onto the West Coast highway, where we trundled along, kilometer and kilometer, only to be turned pointlessly around to do it all in the other direction. I have to say the finish was great, through the Central Business District and onto the Pandang, but I didn’t really see much of Singapore. Good job I live here.
Space is a premium, and there were other distances to fit in: there was a marathon, a 10km and a kids’ run. The funny thing is, it isn’t even as if we did half the marathon route. It was a completely different route.
That said, despite the pain, the very early start (alarm clock rudely giving us an audible shove at 0430) and the heat and humidity, I can now sit back with smug satisfaction and plan my next race.
Podium points for:
- Meet and greet through Universal Studios;
Smelly socks to:
- Number of toilets at the start line. I counted 12;
- Lack of wave starts due to ability: due to sheer numbers there were several starts, but first come first served in the wave pen. This means it was quite a slow race if you were stuck behind someone out for a Sunday stroll;
- Air pollution.
Find out more about the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon here.
To read more about sports + travel equation read about my Bintan Triathlon effort, or check out our triathlon kit list.
What’s your favourite race and why?