Before I describe by Singapore marathon race in detail, I should share my experience with the much hyped sports function of my Nokia 5500, this was its ultimate test. All the functions performed well except for the distance calculator. The distance it timed was 45km during the race, but the steps calculator was quite accurate and was close to the 42km 195meters mark (actually its been accurate all through, though the distance calculator has been erratic with its readings). The calorie counter showed 2900 where as in reality it should have been closer to the 2400 mark. So now I have been able to interpret the readings, I just have to convert the steps to give me a accurate reading on the distance.
The night before the race I slept close to 11pm, even though I was trying to sleep from 9.30pm, not sure about the reason, but I must have been a little excited and nervous about my race the next day. I got up around 2.45am as planned so that I have enough time to digest a good amount of food which i planned to eat in the morning. During the previous day I had managed to pile on a lot of easily digestible carbs, including rice, pasta and energy bars. I started the morning with a lot of fluids and a huge energy bar and then followed it up with some toast and jam. I used the time to meticulously take everything that I needed for the race. I left for the race with my cousin (who was also doing the full marathon and this was his first) and reached the venue a little before 5am. Since we had surveyed the venue a day before it was quite easy to navigate through it.
The organizers had done a good job of marking different sections at the venue, including a suitably placed baggage counter and tagging arrangement. They had every thing in place especially an Unending line portable toilets for the participants at the start and everything else to make the runners comfortable. The directions to the start were clear and the volunteers had been briefed well and were giving correct directions. I reached the starting point at around 5.30am and the race started at 6am. They had clearly marked sections, for various set of runners, sub 3hrs, sub 4hrs, sub 5hrs, sub 6hrs and the rest. This ensured two things, one that staggered start would help the faster runners and the second was you would be able to pace yourself with runners with similar ability/goal. The second one is a big plus which I have never experienced in any of my previous runs, it helps you run with the same pack of runners and ensures that you maintain your speed and motivation.
The race went through all the major parts of the city, but the best stretch and also the toughest one was 12km stretch around East park (on the sea shore). The race took you to the all types of places, the commercial district, parks, beaches, bridges and underpasses. To view a virtual tour of the route click on the link given below
The crowd support was good all through the race especially the East park region, which had lot of tourist and locals sitting in their tents (with lots of food and drink) and cheering us. This also happened to be the toughest section of the race from 22km to 34km mark, plus this was on concrete instead of tar (rest of the track was mainly tar, as Singapore prefers tar roads over concrete (Bombay marathon is mainly run on concrete roads, which makes it a lot harder on the knees).
I ran the last 6kms well as I had to ensure that I did a sub 4.30time, and by the time I reached the finish the time on the clock was 4hrs 30mins and 8 seconds, but since I had started later due to the staggered start, I was able to complete it under 4hr 29mins.
I will be posting some interesting pictures of the marathon before the end of this week to bring out the spirit of the race.