There are lessons to be learnt by the organiser of last weekend's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), aimed at getting Singapore to join New York, Chicago, Boston, Tokyo, Berlin and London among the Abbott World Marathon Majors (A lesson, a step at a time, to reach the top, Dec 4).
It is inevitable that an event of such a scale in the heart of a major city would disrupt people's lives.
It did not help that it coincided with major events.
Some areas which the organiser, Ironman Asia, can look into include:
•Better communication to explain the concept of a World Marathon Major. Share how the people of New York, Tokyo and Berlin proudly turn up to welcome guests from around the world, and make their city's race a unique experience (for example, the Tokyo Marathon is renowned for the wonderful delicacies on offer from the crowds along its running route).
• Better coordination at the national level. The authorities have to ensure the SCSM does not coincide with other crowd-pulling events.
• Better engagement with Singaporeans. The SCSM needs to capture the attention of Singaporeans, so they will plan on coming out to cheer on family, friends and overseas participants, to celebrate sports and universal friendship.
• Consider holding the main marathon event on a Sunday evening instead, as Saturdays are generally busier.
As a runner, I applaud the organisers for a well-organised, world-class, first evening SCSM.
But for the SCSM to go on and succeed as a marathon major, it needs the support of Singaporeans who must embrace it as a showcase for our city.
Kenneth Kwok Fook Kay