Marathon capped at 60,000

There were 5,000 participants who took part in the 5km Fun Run at last year's Standard Chartered Marathon Sinapore.

They were part of the record 65,000 who took part in the event last year, which saw the marathon earn Gold Gold Label certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), ranking it among the top races in the world, alongside the likes of Boston, New York, Tokyo and London.

In a bid to maintain the quality of the race, the number of entries for this year's event will be capped at 60,000, and the 5km category has been scrapped.

Adjustments

The popular half-marathon will also have its participation quota halved to 10,000 this year, while more slots have been allocated for the full marathon and Kids Dash categories.

These adjustments were made to ensure a smoother and safer race, according to marathon organising committee chairman, Lim Teck Yin.

Speaking at the official registration launch at Raffles Place Park yesterday, Lim, CEO of the Singapore Sports Council, said: "Over the years we've expanded the event to a point where we now need to scale back a little.

"Controlling the numbers is part and parcel of making sure the number is looked after. "It's a Singapore-marquee event and we have to make sure the routes are wide enough for everyone to take part."

Lim acknowledged some will be disappointed over the scrapping of the 5km run, but he said: "We've come to note that there are many 5km races throughout the calendar, and there are going to be even more with the opening of Gardens By The Bay.

"We are a marathon event, and we (are looking) to focus on the core business.

"The 5km participants make it more congested, and thus we've decided ... that the 21km and 42km runners are well attended to."

While the marathon has already received the highest accolade possible from track and field's world governing body, the IAAF, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing, believes more can be done to improve it.

Mr Chan, the guest of honour at yesterday's launch, said: "We have to consolidate our Gold Label status. There are still various things to improve upon like the selection of the routes, the logistics (and) media management.

"I think runners always appreciate volunteers and people along the route cheering them on. "This is where we hope to mobilise those who are not running to come and cheer them on."

Interested participants can register online at http://www.marathonsingapore.com.

Alternatively, one can walk in and register at Toa Payoh Sports & Recreational Centre from July 7 to 12.

rloh@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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