Health And Family

Is this what a World Marathon Major feels like?

REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay - The Philippine Star
Is this what a World Marathon Major feels like?
Geoff Meyer, Yemane Tsegay, Mamitu Daska, Justin George, and Madison de Rozario

Was I witnessing the birth of a Marathon Major? 

The Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbottWMM) is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

The other week, the running world was focused on Singapore when the 18th Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) took over the streets for a world-class running experience. 

And The STAR saw it all first hand!

This year’s edition had a gun start on Saturday night for the full and half marathons, the new three-day event format was well-received among runners and spectators alike as they enjoyed Singapore’s cityscape. Through their partnership and collaboration with government authorities, organizers took the annual event into the next era as it progresses towards the goal of joining the illustrious AbbottWMM.

Noel Tillor with the author.

The first day had the kids participating in a 500-meter dash, and on Sunday, the 5k and 10k events were conducted. All told, more than 50,000 runners from 133 countries participated, making it the biggest field ever.

I spoke with a number of Filipinos who traveled to Singapore for the weekend, specifically to join the race, and they enjoyed the experience. 

Tim Hadzima, executive director of the Abbott World Marathon Major, was at the site and said, “Our team is excited to be back in Singapore. It was great to see the move to an evening event and the progress that the team continues to make. As in previous years, our assessment team will take time to review and debrief around all areas of the event that relate to our criteria. We very much look forward to this continued partnership and the long-term candidate race process with Singapore.”

With a heightened focus on spectator experience, race supporters enjoyed a lineup of entertainment and activities at three spectator zones:  at the Empress Lawn, The Promontory and The Float @ Marina Bay.

“This year’s race marks a historical milestone in SCSM’s history. With the evening marathon start time and our strongest elite field, together with the dedicated spectator zones, this has been our most ambitious race. We have received good reviews from the Race Expo, and both the athletes and supporters were excited about the new evening format, together with the lineup of programs and activities at the spectator zones,” said Geoff Meyer, managingdDirector of Asia for The Ironman Group.

Joshua Kipkorir and Priscah Cherono both successfully defended their titles, as Cherono broke the female course record in the regions-only IAAF Gold Label race. Singapore’s best was also crowned as Soh Rui Yong won his third straight title, while Sharon Tan took home a maiden title. 

Kota Hokonuie and Madison De Rozario won the elite wheelchair categories against a highly competitive field composed of top Paralympians and former marathon major champions in the largest-ever wheelchair contingent.

Filipino ace Noel Tillor made us proud by finishing third in the 21k category with a time of one hour, 19 minutes, and 57 seconds.

Here’s hoping that Southeast Asia will have a Marathon Major very soon.


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