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Ultimate Warrior

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2014

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extracted from runningsucks.blogspot.sg :

Actually, these runners "cheated" unwittingly. I also nearly saved 18 km but by detoured from the 31 kmmarker back to ECP.

From my friend Jasmine, also a Race Supervisor/Marshaller:

Hahaha...cos route diversion after 7.30am as roads needed to be opened soon...so route was diverted to run into MCE bypassing ECP...by that is for "slow runners"

2nd extract:

The medal and tee were promised by the sweepers to be given to anyone who wants to board the bus at the 33km mark at about 11am. I guess the organisers did it to avoid the increasing number of casuality.

I only boarded the bus at 35km cause of my injury, I got the shirt and medal too but it is cause I use it as a reminder of the pain I pushed through to 35km. What about these participants?

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Talking about starting earlier for FM, I did my first FM in 2006. The starting time was 6 am ! I completed it with 13 minutes to spare before 11 am. Scorching.

IMG_4677.JPG

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I kinda like the idea of the Finisher T - as I feel it is nice to come back after putting in a real effort, cool down, stretch out.. rest.. and then to be able to change into a DRY top and feel proud of urself for the effort put in. A very nice feeling to me.

I am supportive of the camp that it should not be a elite event with strict cut-off timing. People run for various reasons and injury and illness on the day itself can affect the runner. Even some of the official pacers will drop-off from their designated pace timing right? Its not easy. And we should respect any finisher, as long as he/she completes the full distance.

It is actually harder for the 8 hour walker, compared to the average 4:30 to 5:30 finisher. It is really punishing to go for 8 hours on the route and in the sun. So we should respect everyone who finish, whatever their timing.

Just remove those DNF runners from the ranking so people know where they stand. Have a period for people to appeal against their removal, in case of real technical fault, and we can review the event photos to confirm it is a technical fault.

So for the Finisher T - I believe it is up to the individual, you urself know whether you completed the distance and deserve to wear it. We do not need to stop issuing finisher T to DNF runners.

I have heard of warehouse sales when they sell uncollected finisher T. They have to get rid of the shirt some how right? I myself have seen the Key Power International Outlet selling the Iron Man/Triathlon (cant remember) Finisher T, and some plumb guy happily choosing and showing his family members.

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Extracted the below from the comments on the blog, I think the cut off timing policy should be clearer and runners should not be diverted to take a shorter route.

I wont blame all this people, some may be cheated and some are impacted by organizer. The race marshal were diverted many slow runners without allowing them to enter ECP, So they jumped from 12km to 31km. It happened to me, they advised us not to enter the ECP and asked us to continue from 31km .But we had a argument that we need to continue the race and they allowed us to enter the ECP. However, they put barricade and stopped us at 18km and diverted us to join the opposite site-25.5km.Even though we had argument to continue, they didn't allow us to continue. So, most of the slow runners are impacted by this. Though i wish to run full, i completed my run with 33-34km in total. The organizer should clearly communicate the stage cut-off time to runners like SCMHK, so slow runners may not register for 42km.

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I'll give a personal perspective of someone who cut the race short.

I joined in the run at around the 10k mark and ran till the end (ie i did 32k). Collected the finisher shirt and medal. Also have a finishing time (but missing the 5k n 10k checkpts)

Why did I do so? Well firstly I dont usually run marathons in Singapore anymore cos its too hot to PB, and its not like I'm in contention to win a prize. I do like running though, and I love the atmosphere at SCMS. Hence I already decided months before the race that I would probably just do the last 30ish kms as a training run, instead of bashing my legs up doing a full marathon.

I did try to remove the timing chip on the bib. Normally it is some glued on thing, but this year the timing device is embedded into the bib and couldnt be removed unless u cut that section of the bib out. I do feel abit bad about having a finishing time, because it may affect the ranking of people who finished the full race. But I do also think the organisers have a duty to remove runners with missing checkpoint times such as myself from the final results listing.

Lastly, I did collect the finisher shirt and medal. Funny thing about SCMS finisher shirts. The first one I ever earned, I really treasured, and even felt abit paiseh to wear it in public cos I didnt want to be though of as "showing off" (it was just a 5 hour slog/walk after all). With subsequent marathons, the value of such finisher shirts has diminished to me, I hardly wear them anyway, and it also seems like soooo many people have marathon finisher shirts these days.

I normally dont accept the medal at most races, but the volunteer offering it at SCMS was so ernest that i didnt want to reject her.

So there you have it. One perspective from the other side of the fence. For your discussion please =)

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Extracted the below from the comments on the blog, I think the cut off timing policy should be clearer and runners should not be diverted to take a shorter route.

I wont blame all this people, some may be cheated and some are impacted by organizer. The race marshal were diverted many slow runners without allowing them to enter ECP, So they jumped from 12km to 31km. It happened to me, they advised us not to enter the ECP and asked us to continue from 31km .But we had a argument that we need to continue the race and they allowed us to enter the ECP. However, they put barricade and stopped us at 18km and diverted us to join the opposite site-25.5km.Even though we had argument to continue, they didn't allow us to continue. So, most of the slow runners are impacted by this. Though i wish to run full, i completed my run with 33-34km in total. The organizer should clearly communicate the stage cut-off time to runners like SCMHK, so slow runners may not register for 42km.

wah liew.. if I kanna diverted without any chance of continuing my marathon, I will really sian 1/2. Its like a job/mission not completed. The organiser should really look into cut off timing at different stages in next SCSM ..either have such timings or ignore it since its a IAFF badged event,just let them complete the run at 8hrs cut off then to sweeper. Focus more on first aider,water points especially when the sun rises.

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Wah! The topic of 'rats' have made it to Hardware Zone forum as the 'last saga of the year'

http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/eat-drink-man-woman-16/last-super-sega-year-2014-marathon-hall-shame-4902369.html

to quote the sentiments of a forumner lycheehello;- "marathon jin serious business... "

We can always trust HWZ forum people to provide us some humour to the ongoing discussion. :lolu:

The idea of doing a full marathon in a stadium track (105.5 rounds to be exact) will be daunting for many runners :shok:

See this exact hardwarezone forum post for such idea: http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/90520283-post94.html

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From SCMS Facebook, their reply to one of the reader:

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore

Hi Alex,

We completely understand the basis of your dissatisfaction. We would like to assure you that we are fully aware of the cheating situation as of Sunday, and have immediately deployed our timings team to investigate the matter thoroughly.

The rankings and timings you see now are provisional timings, with the official timings only being released soon - after our race director approves all timings verified with a green light by our timings team.

Sportsmanship is key to us and we stand behind a race that is fair to our runners as far as possible. We seek your kind patience with us while we get to the bottom of this matter. Thank you.

Like · 1 · Reply · More · 2 hours ago

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Like lonewolf bro I am also numb about cheaters. Even if there is a completely foolproof way to rid them out, there will be those who genuinely complete the run wanting to sell off their finishers (coz they don't really want them), and there will be those non particpants wanting to buy them for bragging rights.

Who is going to stop such "unethical" acts?

If it is something that nobody cannot control, why bother with them? At the end of the day it's all about one's own integrity. If one can live with bragging about what he/she did not respectfully did, then just let them live in their own world of illusion.

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From SCMS Facebook, their reply to one of the reader:

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore

Hi Alex,

We completely understand the basis of your dissatisfaction. We would like to assure you that we are fully aware of the cheating situation as of Sunday, and have immediately deployed our timings team to investigate the matter thoroughly.

The rankings and timings you see now are provisional timings, with the official timings only being released soon - after our race director approves all timings verified with a green light by our timings team.

Sportsmanship is key to us and we stand behind a race that is fair to our runners as far as possible. We seek your kind patience with us while we get to the bottom of this matter. Thank you.

Like · 1 · Reply · More · 2 hours ago

But the certificates with timings are available for download already right?

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Let's face it....morale of the story : train more and stop blaming others or nature (i.e. weather) for your own failures.

If you set out to do a full marathon, then you gotta train hard for it. :turned:

That's what I have told myself and to do better next year :rock:

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Wah! The topic of 'rats' have made it to Hardware Zone forum as the 'last saga of the year'

http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/eat-drink-man-woman-16/last-super-sega-year-2014-marathon-hall-shame-4902369.html

to quote the sentiments of a forumner lycheehello;- "marathon jin serious business... "

We can always trust HWZ forum people to provide us some humour to the ongoing discussion. :lolu:

The idea of doing a full marathon in a stadium track (105.5 rounds to be exact) will be daunting for many runners :shok:

See this exact hardwarezone forum post for such idea: http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/90520283-post94.html

Yup, those comments there are really funny. Most times 'hard truths' level and no sugar coating. But ideas there are worth considering also.

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Interesting perspectives - all kinds of reasons for taking part and ways to "complete" the race.

There is something in the race for different people.

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This is my SCMS race review. Its a long post those adverse to wall of texts should probably give it a miss.

Race Preparation
Going into the race, I knew that I was under-trained for the race. Following Newton Challenge, I was in a serious rut and I could not trained as planned, or when I did run, it was often shorter than planned. It did not help that the weather was wrecking havoc in November and the almost daily rain mean less training. On hindsight of course these are just excuses for the missed training.

Still I know it was futile to panic over something that I cannot do anything about; so I choose to remain calm and prepared as best I could with the time that I had. I tweaked my pre-race carb loading and I think I did a better job as I only gained 1kg and not 2kg in the week leading to the race.

Pre-Race and Flag Off
As usual I took the first train to Orchard and arrived at around 0340hrs. I put on my bib and proceeded to check in my bag. It was so much better this year. I do not see any different in the arrangement so I do not know why it was so much smoother this year since I arrived at roughly the same time. Last year the queue had formed 20-30 deep per truck. This year there was fewer people in the queue and some trucks had no queue. So I choose one without queue and checked in my bag without fuss.

I proceeded next to the toilet and again no queue! Last year, by the time I checked in my bag, there was a horde at the toilet row. So by 0355, I was all done and ready to go into the starting pen.

There was at least another hour to go before flag off and so I just relax inside the massive start pen, looked at the Christmas decorations and the eye-candies, and just chilled. I started my warm-up before the pen get too crowded and by 0430, the 'Red bib' pen was starting to fill up.

Soon 5am came and the elites were waved off and then the sub-5 a few minutes later. We slowly moved to the starting point and soon it was our turn!

I must say that I never grow tired of the buzz that comes from crossing the starting line. And for a race like SCMS, it's always a little special because of the prestige of the event, the size of the runners and the location of the starting point.

1st half of the Race
The first half of the race went more or less as expected. By the time I reached the 5K mark, I knew it was going to be a hard and gruelling race for me because for some reason, the 'best' version of me did not turn up for the race. It happened sometimes and I still do not know why there are races when this happened. But I had experienced this more than a few times to know that while I probably would not get a good race time, I can manage it enough to finish the race.

So I proceeded at the best pace I can manage, took walk breaks when I needed to and took my nutrition as planned. By the time I reached the HM mark, it was already over 3h and I know that it would be impossible to meet my target of sub-6 hr. Still I did not want to be disheartened and aimed to do my best and complete the race.

By now the sun has started to come out but for the most part, ECP is still fairly shaded so it still was not bad for this stretch of the race.

2nd half of the Race
By the time I reached the u-turn point at 22+K, I was running on 'empty'. It was strange because my energy level was still fairly high but the muscular and cardiovascular endurance seem to at its end. I tried to run as much as I can but for all intend and purpose, I practically walked the rest of the way back. And when I did run, it was mostly to get out of the sun and back into the shade as quickly as possible.

I was also starting to cramp but these could be managed by the muscle rub, either from the help stations or those that I had with me.

By the 30K mark, it was almost 5h gun time (or around 10am) and I knew that the next 5K will be merciless as there was no shade. The aptly nicked 'Highway to Hell' was indeed hellish. I had a towel and cap with me and used it to shade myself by fashioning a legionnaire cap with them and it helped a bit. I tried running in short burst to shorten the agony but can only managed short sporadic distance before stopping once again.

By now I was with a horde of walkers in the same predicament as I am. Some managed a fairly good pace when walking and others slower. And yet other were trying like me to run for short sporadic bursts. So it was a little surreal when this bunch of us were basically in a tight bunch leapfrogging one another when we did our sporadic bursts. Still it was obvious to me that none of us are giving up and we will still trying as hard as we can. Though we did not exchange any words of verbal encouragement or made any visual eye contact, it seems to me that the mere presence of your fellow walkers around you is enough to spur you on.

By the time I reached 35K at Marina Barrage, it was almost 6h gun time and the sun was probably at its fiercest. I pressed on and soon reached Heartbreak Bridge. I was not able to run much at this point not even in sporadic burst but strangely I was still managing a decent walking pace. Perhaps not at brisk walking pace but definitely faster than what many would term a leisurely stroll.

As I crossed the bridge, I noticed a horde of people walking through the pit building and was a little puzzled because that was not part of the race route. On the down slope, I can see that vehicular traffic had resumed along Raffles Ave and that we were being diverted towards the F1 pit building.

I expected this because I witnessed this last year when I was walking toward the Float to collect my bag after the race. I never imagined I would find myself in the same position. Still I was wondering about whether we will get a time split because I know that the 40K mark was at Raffles Ave. And if we do not, would we be DQ'ed because we missed a check point? I soon have my answer as we passed the '40K' timing mat just after the Helix Bridge before proceeding pass the Float. At this point, I entertained the notion of collecting my bag and finishing the race with my bag but decided against it.

The diverted route brought us under the Esplande Bridge before reaching Connaught Drive and then along St Andrew Rd back to the end point. Thankfully I still have enough in me to gingerly jog to the finish line and finished my 2nd SCMS FM in 7h 14m. This time I remembered to keep my face up when I crossed the line!

Race Logistics
Overall I do not have much to complain about the provision of hydration as it was generally adequate; except for the 37K water point which run out by the time I reached there. Also as we were diverted into an alternate route, we would miss the 40K water point too! In fact as we were coming down the bridge, we could see that the 40K water point had closed. In this regard, I must commend the volunteers for providing hydration to the participants along Heartbreak Bridge. I do not know where they get the water from but there was 1.5L bottle of Ice Mountain being shared with those who need it. It's not hygienic but I do not think anybody cared at that point in time.

The diverted route back to F1 pit building bought us back to the 8K water point and mercifully it was still manned and stocked. So it must have been a relief to all of us after enduring Heartbreak Bridge, it was really like visiting an oasis in the desert.

As for the banana and gel issues, I do not think I need to add on as it has been commented to death by now. I know that I will be a backmarker and that 75-8o% of time, I will not get any gel prepared by the organiser, so I always prepared my own gel for the race and was self-sufficient.

As for muscle rub, it was not as generous as last year but it was sufficient and plentiful so no complaint in that regard.

Being part of the backmarker contingent and being diverted away from the official race route also made me feel that I did not really complete the 'real' SCMS. Yes I got all my split times, classified as a finisher and did not run short of the FM distance. Still a part of me feel genuinely aggrieved by being diverted away despite being on target to finish within the official cut-off time of 8hr guntime.

In fact, based on the road closure information, Rafffles Ave and Esplanade Drive are closed from 1am - 2.30pm but traffic was resumed much earlier than that.

I can understand that diversion is necessary for those who are unlikely finish the race by the 8h cut off time. But that does not applies to me and the hordes of participants around me who are still trying to complete the race. And the number affected is probably not small. I estimated at least a few hundred people but the actual number was probably more since I do not know when the diversion actually took place.

Of course on further reflection (and I am sure many would probably feel this way) I probably should have trained harder and prepared better if I do not want to be part of the backmarker contingent and risked being diverted. However that's missing the point. By stipulating an official cut-off time of 8hr gun time (1pm) the organiser is making a commitment to keep the official route opened for participants to run or walk on.

I feel it is unfair and unreasonable for the backmarker contingent to be diverted away from the official route before 12pm. The diversion happened between the 39-40K mark. There would be sufficient time for us to complete the remaining 3K within the hour, so there was no need for us to be diverted.

Post-Race Reflections and Thoughts
When I completed this year Sundown FM, I told myself that it was the hardest, most gruelling and tortuous race I participated and cannot imagine an harder race than that. Well I guess I do not need to imagine anymore as SCMS 2014 was definitely harder, more gruelling and more tortuous. And of course the biggest difference was the killer weather that was slowly roasting and baking us half-alive. For all intend and purpose, I did not run a FM in SCMS14, I run a HM and walked an HM - back-to-back. Inexplicably despite that, my net time was still faster than my SDM timing.

Regardless of the above, I am happy that I managed another FM under my belt and proud to do it without shortchanging myself in probably one of the hardest edition of the race. Apart from being not my best and under-trained, there were still a lot of positives to take away from the race. My carb loading and nutrition strategy was executed well. I also think my overall conditioning has definitely improved because I am recovering well and do not feel as sore as I did last year or even after SDM.

So what's next after SCMS14? Who knows? I told my friends that there's an 8o% chance that this will be my last FM so that means there's also a 20% chance that I may get bitten by the FM bug again in the future . And if I do, I will have to make sure that I follow through with my planned training and not go into another FM under-trained again.

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Like lonewolf bro I am also numb about cheaters. Even if there is a completely foolproof way to rid them out, there will be those who genuinely complete the run wanting to sell off their finishers (coz they don't really want them), and there will be those non particpants wanting to buy them for bragging rights.

Who is going to stop such "unethical" acts?

If it is something that nobody cannot control, why bother with them? At the end of the day it's all about one's own integrity. If one can live with bragging about what he/she did not respectfully did, then just let them live in their own world of illusion.

There is actually a very simple way: remove finisher T-shirts altogether. A digitally-signed PDF certificate will suffice for those who want recognition. For official timings, a simple email confirmation from the organizer or a website database search will do.

But of course, this will never happen because the organizers will lose revenue from the people who are in it for the superficial reasons.

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Exactly....u sign up for it, u got to train for it.

If you can't reach a certain CP by a certain timing, the organizer could DNF you on the spot, taking away your race bib, no medal no finisher tee no cert, nothing.

Didn't meet cut off timing is DQ, skipped CP is DNF.

Let's face it....morale of the story : train more and stop blaming others or nature (i.e. weather) for your own failures.

If you set out to do a full marathon, then you gotta train hard for it. :turned:

That's what I have told myself and to do better next year :rock:

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Exactly....u sign up for it, u got to train for it.

If you can't reach a certain CP by a certain timing, the organizer could DNF you on the spot, taking away your race bib, no medal no finisher tee no cert, nothing.

Didn't meet cut off timing is DQ, skipped CP is DNF.

Let's face it....morale of the story : train more and stop blaming others or nature (i.e. weather) for your own failures.

If you set out to do a full marathon, then you gotta train hard for it. :turned:

That's what I have told myself and to do better next year :rock:

The funny thing is, SC states clearly that they will give out finisher medals and T-shirts to those who are swept off onto the bus after the 8 hour cut-off.

This is my first year of running and I am really disappointed but at least now I know the true value of SCMS finisher shirts: zero.

What happens when I’m still in the midst of the race after the eight (8) hour cut off mark?

For Marathon participants who are unlikely to finish the race within eight hours, race officials and route marshals will divert them at designated diversion points along the race route, to a shorter race route towards the finish gantry.

For the safety of the participants, they must obey as instructed; otherwise they will be pulled off the race course immediately.

Will I still receive the Finisher’s T-shirt, Finisher’s Medal and Finisher’s certificate after the eight (8) hour cut off mark?

Full Marathon participants who are diverted to the shorter route will still be entitled to receive the Finisher’s T-shirt and Finisher’s Medal upon crossing the finish line.

However, they will not receive the Finisher’s Certificate and their race timings will not be recorded as they will be deemed disqualified (DQ).

http://www.marathonsingapore.com/faqs-race/

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This is my 1st year of running SCMS, eye-opener why SC makes their race value so low.

Swept by sweeper bus gets to collect Finisher Tee & medal.

DNF missed several CP status is also Finisher & receives Finisher Tee & medal.

I'm not very particular about that, but I can understand those who really train hard and pushed themselves to complete within the cut-off time, which I personally felt, compared to other countries is already very generous.

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But guys please don't go burning the Finisher Tee @ Hong Lim Park to protest ! :P

The finisher tee does make for a good home wear t-shirt though hehe

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Having watched the replay of the SCMS on Super Sports Arena, I think the male 2nd and 3rd kenyan runners were led to the wrong route near the finish. Along Republic Avenue, they were supposed to go straight. Instead, they ran into the F1pit area. This is a bigger loop. As a result, they both got overtaken for their positions.

I am also disappointed that our local runners were not featured at all during the broadcast. Its bad enough they hardly had significant footage of the female elite runners. But how do Sports Singapore expect to motivate Singaporeans to take up running when they don't even feature the likes of Mok Yin Ren and Rachel See.

They did however, feature Uncle Chan,the 84 years old marathoner. What an inspiration. They didn't wait for him to finish though.

even oversea racers do not showcase much on the local runners... the most the flash out the 'closed' caterory winners.

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This is my SCMS race review. Its a long post those adverse to wall of texts should probably give it a miss.

Post-Race Reflections and Thoughts

When I completed this year Sundown FM, I told myself that it was the hardest, most gruelling and tortuous race I participated and cannot imagine an harder race than that. Well I guess I do not need to imagine anymore as SCMS 2014 was definitely harder, more gruelling and more tortuous. And of course the biggest difference was the killer weather that was slowly roasting and baking us half-alive. For all intend and purpose, I did not run a FM in SCMS14, I run a HM and walked an HM - back-to-back. Inexplicably despite that, my net time was still faster than my SDM timing.

Being part of the backmarker contingent and being diverted away from the official race route also made me feel that I did not really complete the 'real' SCMS. Yes I got all my split times, classified as a finisher and did not run short of the FM distance. Still a part of me feel genuinely aggrieved by being diverted away despite being on target to finish within the official cut-off time of 8hr guntime.

In fact, based on the road closure information, Rafffles Ave and Esplanade Drive are closed from 1am - 2.30pm but traffic was resumed much earlier than that.

I can understand that diversion is necessary for those who are unlikely finish the race by the 8h cut off time. But that does not applies to me and the hordes of participants around me who are still trying to complete the race. And the number affected is probably not small. I estimated at least a few hundred people but the actual number was probably more since I do not know when the diversion actually took place.

Of course on further reflection (and I am sure many would probably feel this way) I probably should have trained harder and prepared better if I do not want to be part of the backmarker contingent and risked being diverted. However that's missing the point. By stipulating an official cut-off time of 8hr gun time (1pm) the organiser is making a commitment to keep the official route opened for participants to run or walk on. I feel it is unfair and unreasonable for the backmarker contingent to be diverted away from the official route before 12pm. The diversion happened between the 39-40K mark. There would be sufficient time for us to complete the remaining 3K within the hour, so there was no need for us to be diverted.

Regardless of the above, I am happy that I managed another FM under my belt and proud to do it without shortchanging myself in probably one of the hardest edition of the race. Apart from being not my best and under-trained, there were still a lot of positives to take away from the race. My carb loading and nutrition strategy was executed well. I also think my overall conditioning has

definitely improved because I am recovering well and do not feel as sore as I did last year or even after SDM.

So what's next after SCMS14? Who knows? I told my friends that there's an 8o% chance that this will be my last FM so that means there's also a 20% chance that I may get bitten by the FM bug again in the future . And if I do, I will have to make sure that I follow through with my planned training and not go into another FM under-trained again.

@lonewolf,

U was diverted by the offical? how did they divert the crowd ? It was a wild guess... could be the injury rate be one of the factor to have such early diversion ?? I noticed quite a few ambulance around and encountered quite a few lot of runners stop and seek medical aid at the tents...

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