SINGAPORE - This year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon has already seen one major change, in that it will now begin in the evening instead of at the crack of dawn.
On Friday (Aug 2), organisers revealed several other key changes.
For the first time in the event's 18-year history, participants will take off from the same start point - in front of the Formula 1 (F1) Pit Building.
Previously, participants had started from different parts of Singapore. For example, the 42km racers would start under the Christmas lights along Orchard Road while the 21km runners would take off from Sentosa.
This year's route will also see two changes. The first alteration will see runners turning right on Bras Basah Road, a longer and wider straight along Nicoll Highway, before passing by the War Memorial Park.
At the 22km mark, runners will flank the scenic Marina Grove as they take in the waterfront sunset.
Organisers said that "the improved routes are built on runner feedback and are intended to deliver a balance of race difficulty".
They also said that they had consulted crowd management experts from the Manchester Metropolitan University to "design and coordinate the best possible race route experience" when designing this year's route. The MMU has experience working with Abbott World Marathon Major races - a series of the best marathon races in the world. The Singapore Marathon is aiming to join this elite club of races in the future.
Those in the marathon and half-marathon will be flagged off in waves starting at 6pm on Nov 30.
However, the starts for the 10km and 5km events will remain in the morning. The 10km runners will flag off on Dec 1 at 6.30am while the 5km participants will move off two hours later at 8.30 am.
This year's 700m Kids Dash will take place at the F1 Pit Building to allow them a chance to experience what the adult runners go through. The Dash will be for children aged 10 years and under while those aged 11 onwards can take part in the 5km community run. Organisers said the change "epitomises the growth of the event and presents older children with a new challenge".
"This year's race will be the best yet - the changes we are making are the first for any race in Singapore and the region. A lot of planning and effort has gone into this year's race to make this an event that is for everyone - participants, family, friends, and the public," said Geoff Meyer, managing director for The Ironman Group in Asia. "With the all-new spectator zones, we sincerely hope that everyone will come and join us in the festivities as we continue our ascent towards meeting the Abbott World Marathon Majors standards."
Slots for the half-marathon are now sold out while there are limited slots left for the marathon. Registration is still open and runners can enjoy discounted sign-up rates from now until Sept 30.
For more information and a look at the race routes, visit www.singaporemarathon.com.