Race review: Marina Run 2017 (10KM)

In the effort to promote Healthy Lifestyle Singapore, Marina Run 2017 is organized to focus on safe sports and fun activities for the young and the elderly, who are both competitive and non-competitive runners. This year, a new category was introduced comprising of the Team of 4 10K and 21K categories as a platform for peer bonding between friends or colleagues, who are either experienced runners or new runners alike, to train and compete together.

The Marina Run is organized annually in the month of February. Personally, the race is a low-key race started only in 2015, and has much more improvements to make if it has to aims to compete with other similar events like Sundown Marathon. The standard entitlements of medal, and finisher tee is awarded to all categories of runners - which makes it worth the run if you are looking to own these collectibles!

Delayed Flag Off

Due to the heavy rain which continued until 4.30PM, the 5KM category was announced to be delayed by 30 minutes. When the rain stopped at 4.45PM, the 5KM runners were off! As a participant in the 10KM category, my friends and I went to confirm if the official start times (5.30PM) for the 10KM would be delayed as well. Staff working at the start pen assured us everything will go according to plan, but that was not to be when our race was delayed by 30 minutes with little to no official announcement of the reasons for the delay. I felt that the organizers could have done better in this aspect by getting the emcee to engage the audience with music and livening up the atmosphere instead of keeping quiet until 5 minutes before the race was slated to start.

Run Route - 10KM

The organizers went all out to save costs through the organization of this event and quality was not sacrificed the least bit for the 10KM runners. However, 5KM runners who were running the last 500 meters towards the finish line had to squeeze pass a small opening - created by barricades just beside the start point, that only allowed a maximum of 2 people to enter at any one point. This created a chokepoint when a majority of the 5KM runners arrived and had to 'queue' to squeeze through this choke point to get to the finish line. 

Overall, the route was flat and wide with ample space for runners. However, one thing I hated along the route was having to break my momemtum and climb up and down staircases provided as part of the race route. The break of momemtum occured along the start of Fort Road - the entrance to East Coast Park. It was demoralizing to have to spend extra effort to pick up the pace again.

Water stations were adequate and spaced evenly apart! With water stations 2KM apart, the organizers did well here to make sure participants kept hydrated.

Travel to the start point

Travel was a little inconvenient as the start point was situated at Gardens By The Bay East. There was only one public bus in and out of the location, and you still had to walk 5 minutes to the start point. Shuttle buses were provided for all participants and they were dropped off right at the start point, but as with previous years, there were long queues for them. My friends and I ran 2KM from the OCBC Arena and took it as a warm up jog before the race started

Baggage

As my belongings was placed in lockers provided at OCBC Arena, I had no need for baggage. However, it was standard procedure like all races held in Singapore. Volunteers did their best to tag participant's belongings and placed them accordingly. One complain that runners had was having to trudge through mud-laden grass just to deposit their baggage!

Delayed flag off

For safety reasons, the organizers delayed the 10KM runners as they wanted the route to be clear of 5KM runners for us. However, delay or not, there were still a large number of 5KM runners heading to the finish line - and every one of them had the courtesy to make way for the horde of 10KM runners heading the opposite direction. 

One of the best moments of the race? Participants keeping to one side of the race route even though it got narrow at some points so as not to obstruct the public and other faster runners going the other way.

Post-run activities

My team, Runderbolt, came in as champions for the Team of 4 Mixed category. We skipped any post-run activity available to quickly head over to OCBC Arena to have a shower and change up before collecting our prizes - the award ceremony which we presumed was going to be held together with the winners of the 21KM category. However, that was not the case as we were informed by our peers who were present as supporters in the event that the prizes have been handed out in our absence. Even though no cash prizes were involved, efforts to contact us was nil. No information was provided prior to the run giving participants a rundown of the program schedule - and I feel the organizers could have done better here.

Team of 4 10KM Champions - Runderbolt!

Overall experience

I might think again before registering for the race. Having participated last year for the first time as a participant in the 21KM category, I felt it was pretty well organized despite some hiccups with the road marshalls at one point during the race. This year, the route was well planned even though it is obvious the organizers are cutting costs. However, the decisions and the failure to provide constant engagement, feedback and information to participants made me feel the they could have handled things better in terms of communication.
Chang Teck
Chang Teck

Your average lifestyle and leisure runner seeking to learn and grow from every experience - good or bad.

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