Simultaneous 4.30am start for both full and half marathon at 2016 StanChart Marathon Singapore

Participants of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore take off at the starting point on Dec 6, 2015.
Participants of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore take off at the starting point on Dec 6, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Half-marathon runners at this year's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) will start alongside their full marathon counterparts at Orchard Road and both groups will be flagged off at the same time.

Last year, half-marathon entrants started at Sentosa Gateway and began at 6.30am while the full marathon runners started their 42.195km route at 5am from Orchard Road.

The Dec 4 race for the 2016 edition will start at 4.30am and both sets of runners will be flagged off in waves at fixed intervals based on personal race-timings.

They will share the same 12km under the Orchard Road Christmas lighting before reaching East Coast Park, where they will split. The full marathoners continue along East Coast Park while those on the 21km route will run towards Fort Road, passing the Merdeka Bridge via Mountbatten Road before hitting the Singapore Flyer.

Both groups will reunite at Fort Road - the 33km mark of the full marathon - for their last leg of the race. However, they will run on separate lanes to avoid congestion along the route.

The 10km race will flag off at 6.45km at Esplanade Drive. All races will finish at the Padang.

The Kids dash will be held a day before the mass participation races on Dec 3.

SCMS organisers hope the new earlier start times and waved starts at the event's 15th edition will improve traffic flow while allowing participants more time to run in cooler and more forgiving weather.

The SCMS is Singapore's largest running event which attracts about 50,000 participants annually.

Other changes include two new "cooling zones" with spray mists, longer water points for hydration and room for overtaking plus added lanes facilitated by full road closures.

Geoff Meyer, managing director of new race organisers Ironman Asia, said "When planning the race, we took a holistic and consultative approach, analysing feedback from runners and re-looking the experience from the very moment participants arrive.

"We're confident that the new route and upgrades will give runners a smoother and better experience."