The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) 2017 – Race Report
– By FatBird Anthony
– Photos from FatBirds Eddie, Rand, Chin, Mohan, RunSociety, FinisherPix
After 12 weeks of structured marathon training, Team FatBird marathoners (Sunbirds) gathered at the heart of Orchard Road for the biggest marathon in Singapore, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) 2017. It was just as good that we asked all to go to the start point at 3:00am, for some were caught up with the long delays at the baggage deposit. Our Sunbirds managed to squeeze out in time to get into their respective pens.
With a new route this year, and the promise of better race organization and experience from Ironman, many of us have signed up for this SCSM race when registration opened early in April. And we were not disappointed.
The group of FatBirds which gathered at the Shaw House had our light warm-up routine before proceeding to our respective pens at 3:45am to have sufficient time to get a nice spot in our respective start pens – the early bird catches a good spot.
Ala Marathon-Majors style, the National Anthem was played before the runners were promptly flagged off in their respective pens. With the corral system, there was a lot less blockage by slower runners and the traffic was rather smooth. The weather was rather humid, probably due to the thick rain clouds which threatened impending rain that did not come.
The first 10km had us running along iconic spots along downtown and Central Business District area. Because of the tall buildings and interferences, we could not depend on our normally trusty GPS watches for pace readings, and had to judge based on our Heart Rates and Rates Of Perceived Exertion (RPE). I started conservatively at 5:00min/km according to race plan, and moved up the pace to about 4:50min/km after 5km. I reached the 10km mark in 48.5min, which about confirmed that my pace was right on schedule.
My left ankle started to give me some trouble (I accidentally twisted it 3 weeks ago at a rainy training day in ECP). I had to manage the pain and disturbance by focusing on my mission at hand. As I maintained about 5:05min/km effort, I was able to reel in many of the early fast starters who were slowing slightly after 10km…hmm, maybe the weather was getting to them as well.
It was just a matter of maintaining pace without incidents all the way to Half Marathon mark. The water stations were long and well spread out, at least giving us the front group of runners ample space and time to grab our drinks. The bananas I must say are huge and quite a mouthful hahaha. I crossed the HM mark in 1:44h and was feeling good other than the nagging left ankle.
The segment into and out of ECP is always a dread as I am very familiar with the hard ground of the route (which will not do much service for my painful ankle). Still, I pushed on. I took a gel (compliments of the support station at 8.8km mark) at the 15km mark and another electrolyte tab at the 25km mark. They kept my energy and electrolyte tank in balance to sustain to the 30km mark.
After crossing the 30km mark in 2:29h, I was bracing for the real marathon race to begin. The final 12km is where it will make or break any marathon race. A body check told me I was still running ok in all departments, with no impending muscle twitches due to fatigue or heat. I continued on from here still maintaining a 5:05 pace.
Dawn has broken by then. The increasing pain from my ankle was helping me to stay awake (I did not sleep the night before) as I pushed on towards Sheares’ Bridge. There was a crowd of Half Marathoners as we merged with them. Fortunately there was some space on the right for the few of us Full Marathoners to pass through, although moving into the water stations on the left was a challenge – I had to stop dead in 1-2 of those stations.
Then I heard a shout and saw a wave just before going up Sheares’ Bridge. It was our support crew of Rand and Eddie who braved the elements to capture some cool shots of Sunbirds and FatBirds in action. I posed for a nice shot before jogging up the arduous stretch of ‘HeartBreak Bridge’. I had to weave through the army of walkers up the Bridge.
And then the right Hamstring threatened to cramp once I reached the top, and was working my way down. Damage control was implemented with a slight change to running form. The right leg was working overtime to compensate by the weakening leg due to the ankle.
And then it was 4km left to go. I slowed down to about 5:25 pace just to keep the cramps at bay. It was great this year that there were barricades separating the Full Marathoners from the Half Marathoners/10km. It made it a lot less painful to have to weave through the crowd in the final km of the race. With 1km to go, I spotted a fellow FatBird who was walking and urged him to continue for a strong finish.
At that point, I no longer have any fuel nor will to want to push. I just wanted to complete the race strongly. When I looked up the timing as I crossed the finish line, I was happy to see 3:35h – which meant that I have qualified for Boston Marathon for my age group. And to think I did it at SCSM (hot and humid weather) gave me a good sense of satisfaction* (I have already qualified for Boston18 at the Gold Coast Marathon in July 2017 with a 3:18h timing).
Once I collected my medal and finisher tee, my calf cramps erupted as I started to walk. I had to spend 15min of stretching and hydrating before resuming to meet the rest of the Sunbirds at our designated meeting point. We cheered and congratulated all the Sunbirds as they returned, mostly with very good performances in spite of the challenging race conditions.
As the results trickled in, I was happy to hear that many of the Sunbirds recorded strong performances, Personal Bests and even Boston Qualifiers at this tough marathon race. This goes to show that those who put in their effort and commitment at FatBird training will reap the fruits of their labour. The following are just some of the comments from Sunbirds who are waiting to join in the next training operation from Team FatBird:
“Another marathon done. I’m happy with the result. Thanking Team Fatbird Running for the 12-weeks of training. I look forward to the next training in 2018.”
Adelene Ho – Sunbird Group 2
“Completed my 3rd SCSM Marathon. Overall I took 4mins longer than SCSM2016. Most importantly, no injury and all my plan was very well executed except for few surprises in between that I’ve learnt to manage them from all the trainings with TeamFatbird.”
Clifford Tan – Sunbird Group 2
“Thank you to my trainers of Team Fatbird for the last 12 weeks of training (for SCSM). It was a great race for me and I’ll be looking for new challenges ahead.”
Julie Lim – Sunbird Group 3
The FatBirds Rocked @ SCSM17
Program PowerFLIGHT Speed & Strength Training System
Team FatBird’s Program PowerFLIGHT Speed & Strength training will commence operations in January 2018. Runners and marathoners looking to up the ante on their speed and strength with enhanced performance are encouraged to sign up for PowerFLIGHT to benefit from structured group hills, track, intervals, high tempo training led by qualified and experienced Team FatBird marathon trainers.
Team FatBird also has a Corporate Run & Marathon Training Program to prepare employees and running clubs of companies and institutions for local and international running races. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org OR Check Out Program Details Here!