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Singapore Marathon plans to join global pacesetters

Singapore’s StanChart race is in the running to join the World Marathon Majors by 2020. — TODAY picSingapore’s StanChart race is in the running to join the World Marathon Majors by 2020. — TODAY picSINGAPORE, July 14 — The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) is making an ambitious bid to join the likes of its rivals in Boston, New York and Tokyo and become part of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) by 2020.

While event organisers have previously admitted that there is much work to be done in the next three years, WMM general manager Tim Hadzima believes Singapore has what it takes to cross the finishing line.

“Singapore fits the criteria (for a WMM) when it comes to a global destination for runners, somewhere that people want to travel to,” said Hadzima, who has also been closely involved with the Tokyo Marathon.

In a teleconference interview yesterday, Hadzima said organisers have also listened to feedback from runners about destinations, adding: “When we look at cities and races, we start with ‘is it a global destination that’s attractive to runners?’ Singapore absolutely meets that standard.

“Singapore is a potential bucket list race and destination of not only travel, but a running event.”

Hadzima did not provide details on what the SCSM needed to improve on in order to become a WMM.

However, Geoff Meyer, managing director of Ironman Asia — which organises the SCSM — previously said that it is looking into an evening flag-off instead of a morning start, as well as a route change that could take runners around the city instead of East Coast Park.

While the Singapore marathon has seen a good turnout of runners over the years — with 46,000 people signing up for the event last year — it has had limited success in attracting crowds to cheer on runners along the route.

It is an area that SCSM organisers will need to beef up, as Hadzima said that race atmosphere and crowd support is one of the unique traits of the WMM races.

He added: “It’s one of the biggest pieces that make the WMM.

“It’s the support from the city, not only from the officials, but spectators, the support for each mile and neighbourhood and places that the race goes through. The race completely takes over the city.

“That’s something that people see as a differentiator from other events. We’ve given our extensive feedback to (SCSM) race organisers and we’re excited to have it meet our standards and to get there.” — TODAY

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