Saturday, December 27, 2008

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008

What? Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Where? Singapore

When? 7 Dec 2008 (Sunday)

How Long? I didn't run this year....but I still make a point go for the event.

Yes, I didn't run this year. Why? Well, it has been a "been there, done that and got the Finisher T-shirt" situation for me.

I have completed my SCSM full marathon in 2004, a couple of Half Marathons in 2005 & 2006, and a 10K in 2007. So, the only event that I have not put my foot in so to speak is the Kids Dash but then, I am waaaaaaay pass the qualifying age. (Insert kiddy giggles here).

When my runner friend, Frank was planning the trip July, I immediately asked him to count me in, even though at that time I have not registered for the run. I wanna experience the run from a different perspective.

It was like an annual pilgrimage. I have never failed to visit Singapore every December for the past 4 years to pay my homage to the bright and colourful multi-themed Christmas decorations at Orchard road. This year, the Toursim Board of Singapore had made up a fantasy family called The Sweets Family hoping to bring in sweeter cash from the tourists.

I arrived on the day before the race by train. Joined Frank and the gang and went up the Singapore Flyer. It was expensive no doubt. The ride cost SGD 29.50 for about 30 mins ride. That comes to SGD 1 per minute! But I tried it anyway. I will ride anything once!:P

On the day of the marathon, I woke up about 3:00-ish am and got out from the hotel called Beach Hotel (which is no where near a beach) at 4:00am. We walked to the start point.

The full marathon start time was at 5:30am. After saying good luck to my runner pals, I went to the start point, find myself a good spot and started snapping away with new FujiFilm S100FS camera...I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Comments are welcome.

Caught Amelia in action. She was running the full marathon!

My superfast friend, Casey Lim and the Malaysian Adidas team at the start of half marathon.

Half Marathon Blast off (CLICK PLAY)

The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon has attracted more than 50,000 runners.

I love the next picture. A group of pacers ran by. Thanks to the live view tilt screen, I managed to get to this angle without having to lie down on the ground.

Another shot from the ground level. The sky provided a dramatic backdrop.

Peace! I would be rich if I get SGD1 everytime a runner flash me a "peace" sign.

Another "runwitme" in the making? :)

10K Men event. Check out the guy in yellow. So striking in a sea of blue.

Resting before the start?

The Women 10K. Girls just wanna have fun! The MC even managed to coax them to do the funky "Chicken Dance" (CLICK PLAY)

Isn't she sweet? :)

The one with the fiercest hair. Runrio, from the Philippines.

Top Malaysian Marathoner - Shaharudin, wearing Nike Lunar Racer. Look at him go....!

The world's greatest BLIND runner, Henry Wanyoike (the one with dark glasses on). I saw him couple of times running with his guide, Joseph Kibunja before. However, Joseph was replaced by this guy this year. Seemed like the blind was leading the abled eyes. :)

My pal William running his 10K.

Please, put some clothes on. LOL!

Fat Bird Team, Dream Runner in action!

Andrew looking good in his first oversea half marathon! Congrats!

Little supporter.

SG Runner founder, En. Sukaimi Ali (guy in long trackpants) running the full marathon.

Lawrence Leong looking very happy towards his full marathon finish!

Too hot? Run with an umbrella..ella..ella..ella...

Uncle Sonny Ng (in yellow), full marathon! Uncle Sonny, pls be patient, I will send you those uncompresssed photos to you. :)

Just robbed the bank or what??? LOL!

Chee Kong grimacing toward his first full marathon finish. Congrats!!!!

Pacers....I love the background - The Singapore Esplanade dubbed The Durians.

Ouch! Ouch! Every runner's nightmare - bleeding nipples! Next time don't forget to lube up!

Mohan - the superduperultramarathoner! This guy runs marathon all over the world!

Amelia Ang. The smile in the ealier picture has turned into a cry of relief. Congrats for completing the SCSM! Well done!

After being an "unofficial" photographer for SCSM, I have some tips for those runners who have photographer friends waiting to snap their pictures during a road race. It will make their lives a whole lot easier.

Top 3 Tips to get your photograph snapped photographer friends during an important run.

1) Wear something different. It was not easy to spot someone in the sea of runner like Singapore Marathon, it was like looking for a blue fish in the sea of blue. Wear something of different colour than the official vest, even better something unique like a pink tutu…or a gorilla suit. Not only your photographer friend can spot you, chances are you might land your picture in your local newspapers too.

Example below:

2) Ask the location(s) your photographer friend might station himself before the race.

Then look out for your friend and the flash the widest smile for him even though inside you feel like dying from exhaustion as you approach him. This work only if the organizer doesn't divert the route at the last hour of the marathon. I was waiting like a fool for my friend, Ultraman Tey at the bridge but I didn't see the sign of his nostrils for more than 6 hours. I saw less and less full marathon runners passed by me. Later I found out that the diverted the "slower" runners to an alternative finishing route!!! Grrrrrr....

3) Wave, shout and scream if you have to for attention.

It's difficult to notice your friends in that tiny viewfinder especially when you have back to back runners that you know. You can only see so much in that little square. I guess this is the possible reason that I didn't manage to spot Frank. I found out later that he was running in front of The Lonely Runner (TLR). My focus was already set on TLR and I completely missed out Frank. Sorry again, Frank!

If the above doesn't work for you...., bring your own camera – pass it to bystanders and ask him/ or her to snap a pic for you. Best work with a Professional photographer if you can find them on the route. Approach politely. I did that once on the human race. That fler knew how to fix the focus and then recompose the picture so that he gets you and the background into the photo without breaking photography "the rule of third". Heheh!

I enjoyed photographing runners in the Singapore Marathon. It was really challenging as everything is so dynamic and fast. My index finger hurt after all the snap snap and click click session. I took about 1500 over photos although not all viewable by human eyes. LOL! But it was great fun. I think I will be there again next year. My feet are itching to run. Heheh!

Hope you enjoy my post especially the photos. As usual, comments are welcome.

Acknowledgment: Frank (Thanks for arranging the trip), Andrew, William, Chee Kong (for being great traveling runner friends) and TLR & Fida (Thanks for the Muallaf movie treat).

For more photo, please check out my Picasa album.


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