The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon To Be Bigger And Better
23 Jul 2007
|The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon To Be Bigger And Better
Singapore, 23 July 2007
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) returns on 2 December 2007 with the promise of a bigger and better race this year for both runners and supporters. The organisers are expecting 38,000 runners, a six-fold increase from 2002 when Standard Chartered became title sponsor, and more than 100,000 supporters.
For the first time, the flag off for the Full Marathon will be at 5.30am. Organisers said this was in response to feedback from runners that an earlier start will help them cope better with the heat and humidity. The event this year will again see five categories of races - the Full Marathon (42km); the Half Marathon (21km); the 10km - Men's and Women's, 10km Team; the Kids Dash; and the 10km Wheelchair Race.
"It is amazing how Singaporeans have taken to running. In the past two to three years, we have seen the arrival of many running events while the more established ones such as the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon continue to grow. Our goal is to grow the Marathon into the premier running event in Asia," said Oon Jin Teik, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Sports Council (SSC).
And statistics have been a clear indication of the marathon's growing popularity. Said Jin Teik: "This year, we started registration for past year's runners a week before the launch and saw a 70% increase in sign-ups just on the first day of registration alone."
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon has come a long way in six years. Loh Lin Kok, Co-chairman of the SCSM 2007 Organising Committee and President of Singapore Athletic Association (SAA), commented: "The marathon remains as the ultimate running challenge for most. With more and more runners participating each year, we have to look at ways to enhance runners' experience. One of this is to have an earlier start time this year, and with it, we may see records tumbling and more runners finishing the race in better times."
"We are also making minor route adjustments to ensure everyone has a safe and comfortable run, and to encourage more people to come out and watch the race, a series of activities along vantage points throughout the race will be planned. We want the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon to be a well-organised, runner-centric and spectator-friendly event," Mr Loh said.
As part of the marathon's Run-For-A-Cause programme, the organisers have adopted the Autism Association (Singapore) as the official charity for this year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. Through Run-For-A-Cause, the Autism Association (Singapore) hopes to raise S$250,000 towards the building of a new school. The Autism Association (Singapore) was established in 1992 and runs programmes catering to individuals with autism ranging, from 2 to 16 years of age. Several of the staff and students of the Autism Association (Singapore) are planning to run in the marathon.
The Autism Association (Singapore) and Standard Chartered Bank are targeting 500 runners who will each help raise a minimum of S$500. For those who succeed in raising this amount, Standard Chartered Bank will sponsor their marathon registration fee.
Lim Cheng Teck, Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, said, "We're delighted with the growth of the event among a broad spectrum of Singaporeans. We're especially proud that each year more than 1,000 of our staff register to run. It's a professionally organised event catering to runners and spectators. The atmosphere on race day is simply fantastic and I encourage all Singaporeans to come and be part of it."
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon is the second leg of The Greatest Race on Earth (GROE) marathon series where elite marathon runners compete in marathons in Nairobi, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong. This first-of-its-kind marathon race circuit features one of the biggest prize purses in the professional athletics scene - US$1.5 million.
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About Singapore Sports Council
The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) is Singapore's lead agency tasked with developing sports in Singapore. Our vision is to create a Sporting Singapore where Sports is a way of life. SSC aims to develop sports champions and create enjoyable sporting experiences for Singapore through the three strategic thrusts of cultivating a sporting culture, achieving sports excellence and creating a vibrant sports industry. Formed on 1 October 1973, SSC is a statutory board under the umbrella of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
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