StanChart run to avoid 2013 re-run
THIS year's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) will have sharper eyes to watch clocks and catch cheats, as organisers aim to avoid the mistakes of last year.
The run in December will also be less congested, with fewer athletes allowed to take part.
A new official timekeeper, Multisport Australia, has been appointed for the biggest mass participation sports event here.
According to event organiser Spectrum Worldwide, the Australian vendor has more than 60 years' experience in timing and scoring for sporting events across the Asia Pacific.
"We have learnt from the lessons of last year, and we are committed to ensuring that the issues will not be repeated in 2014," a spokesman for SCMS told My Paper yesterday.
Last year, there was confusion when a little-known pastry chef, Tam Chua Puh, was initially declared the winner of the Singapore men's category. He was credited with a timing of 2hr 46min 57sec, well ahead of all the best Singaporean racers.
It later turned out that he ran only 6km of the 42.195km route and then walked back to collect his medal and finisher's T-shirt. He was later disqualified.
Other runners faced the opposite problem. They were initially disqualified but reinstated on appeal.
Some of the confusion was attributed to congestion. This year, the number of runners will be capped at 58,300 across all race categories. Last year, there were 62,000 slots available.
The full-marathon category will see the most number of reductions in order to provide a more pleasant experience for the runners.
"This is about building the runner experience...there's no intention to just keep building the numbers (of participants)," said Chris Robb, managing director of Spectrum Worldwide.
Safety is also "paramount" for the race, he said.
Organisers will be working with SingHealth as a medical provider and will educate runners on the need to train properly for the endurance event.
This year's race will also see the addition of a new race app from Tata Consultancy Services, the event's official IT supplier. Details of the app have yet to be released.
An SCMS Running Communities programme was also introduced at the marathon launch, where participants are assigned a community (west, central, north, north-east and east) based on their residential address.
The launch of SCMS yesterday morning saw over 800 participants registering at ION Orchard, including some 50 enthusiasts who started queuing from the day before.
The first 100 runners who signed up, across a range of four race categories, paid $1 each as the entry fee.
Normal registration fees range from $25 for the Kids Dash to $95 for the full marathon.