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'Superheroes' join the fun at StanChart run

53,000 runners pound streets of downtown Singapore in annual event
December 3, 2012
By: May Chen
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'Superheroes' join the fun at StanChart run Runners dressed up as comic book characters, including the Hulk, Spider-Man and Captain America, adding a dash of fun to the event. Many runners lauded the improvements made this year to prevent bottlenecks along the route. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND FOO

CAPTAIN America came, and so did Wonder Woman. Even the Power Rangers made a cameo.

Some ran as part of a team, although for most, it was a solo trek to the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore finish line.

But no one - fit or flabby, able-bodied or disabled, from toddlers to the centenarian - made the 750m, 10km, 21km or 42.195km journey alone.

They were all part of an "army" of 53,000 runners who took over the streets of downtown Singapore yesterday morning.

About 19,200 marathoners were flagged off at 5am in front of the Mandarin Gallery, but had the Christmas lights along Orchard Road to light their way.

Kenyans swept the elite men's and women's titles. Kiproo Lilan Kennedy, 25, was the first to breast the tape in 2hr 17min 20sec, while Irene Jerotich Kosgei made it three titles in a row by winning the women's event in 2hr 37min 53sec.

Another 10,000 taking part in the half-marathon started from the Sentosa Gateway, while the 10km runners began their run near the Esplanade.

The participants even had little "reindeer", "elves" and "santas" to cheer them on along the way, after organisers distributed Christmas-themed "cheer kits".

The entries this year were 12,000 fewer than the record 65,000 in last year's edition.

Race organiser Singapore Sports Council had moved to limit the size of the field this year in a bid to improve the overall race experience for participants.

Bottlenecks along routes last year had many runners complaining that the annual event was getting too big for its own good.

Many lauded the improvements yesterday.

Mr Amit Bakshi, a 41-year-old sales general manager who ran the 10km, said: "The routes for the different categories also merged at the end this year, but it was not as bad as last year because the lanes were wider."

Most who utilised the baggage-handling services also retrieved their belongings within 15 minutes.

Mr Sean Wong, 29, an operations manager who ran the marathon, said: "The process was fast and orderly."

Noting how the event has almost imprinted itself onto the national consciousness, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who flagged off the 42km race, said: "When the marathon comes, people ask one another if they are participating. That's an indication of the popularity of the marathon. It's an important part of the sporting calendar.

"It's special in the sense that it's really an event that inspires the human spirit."

maychen@sph.com.sg

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