Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore: Kenya's Felix Kiptoo Kirwa wins men's 42km title

Participants starting off the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) on Dec 4, 2016.
Participants starting off the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) on Dec 4, 2016.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore's half and full marathons being flagged off under the Christmas lights along Orchard Road on Dec 4, 2016.
The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore's half and full marathons being flagged off under the Christmas lights along Orchard Road on Dec 4, 2016.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
People dressed up in costumes at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) on Dec 4, 2016.
People dressed up in costumes at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) on Dec 4, 2016.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Felix Kiptoo Kirwa wins men's 42km title at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) on Dec 4, 2016.
Felix Kiptoo Kirwa wins men's 42km title at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) on Dec 4, 2016.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Kenya's Rebecca Chesir wins women's marathon race.
Kenya's Rebecca Chesir wins women's marathon race.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Mok Ying Ren finishes as top male marathoner.
Mok Ying Ren finishes as top male marathoner.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
A participant dressed up as Joker finishes the marathon.
A participant dressed up as Joker finishes the marathon.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
A happy half-marathon finisher at the Padang.
A happy half-marathon finisher at the Padang.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - Kenyan Felix Kiptoo Kirwa won the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) on Sunday (Dec 4) morning.

In the men's 42.195km race, he overcame the humid conditions and breasted the tape in 2hr 17min 17sec to conquer Singapore's biggest marathon and pocket $50,000 in prize money.

Paul Kios Kangogo was second in 2:17.20.

Kirwa's victory extended Kenya's stranglehold in the men's event, as runners from the African nation have won the race at all 14 previous editions since 2002.

While he admitted that he had never run in such hot weather before, Kirwa said he had trained hard for two months leading up to the race. 

"When I reached the 40km mark, I knew that I won the race. This is my biggest win and I am planning to run bigger races in the future. But maybe in cooler climates because I want to improve on my timings," added Kirwa, whose personal best is at around the 2hr 14min mark. 

The women's marathon was won by Kenya's Rebecca Kangogo Chesir in 2:43.03.

Mok Ying Ren, the 2013 SEA Games champion, was the top local male finisher in 2:41.03. It is his eighth 

On finishing top for the seventh time, Mok said: "I was a bit worried going into the race because I didn't know the impact halving my training runs would have on my performance.

"Towards the end, I felt a bit of fatigue in my legs, but it's expected. But we don't really lose out fitness so quickly and as the race went on, I felt good. I'm building towards qualifying for the SEA Games next year, maybe sometime in March."

This year's event drew about 46,000 participants and it was the first time that it was staged by new race organiser Ironman Asia.

For the first time, the half and full marathons flagged off simultaneously under the Christmas lights along Orchard Road at 4.30am. The stream of green and blue was later joined by participants of the 10km race, which started at 6.45am at Esplanade Drive. All races finished at the Padang.

While there was some confusion with the waved starts at the start line, overall the event proceedly smoothly.

Even though there were no early trains to ferry participants to the venue, many racegoers took the chartered buses from 30 pick-up points from around Singapore.