SINGAPORE - A slew of changes were announced for this year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) on Saturday morning (April 14).
Among them are the re-introduction of the 5km category, spreading the SCSM's various races over two days instead of one, and moving its Kids Dash to Universal Studios Singapore.
Geoff Meyer, managing director of SCSM organiser Ironman Asia, made the announcement before the start of a Community Run at the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade, to kick off this year's SCSM, which will take place on Dec 8-9.
Runners in the 10km and 5km races will flag off at the F1 Pit Building and end by The Float at Marina Bay on the morning of Dec 8, a day before their marathon and half-marathon counterparts.
The 5km race was added to encourage new runners to join Singapore's flagship running event, explained Meyer.
The distance was first introduced in 2011, when the race was known as the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. It has not been held since.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who led some 500 members of the local running community on the 4km run, said: "Sport has the power to bring people together.
"The SCSM is a great opportunity for Singaporeans to come together to challenge our limits, and encourage one another in our journey to stay active.
"I am heartened to see the Kids Dash, Ekiden and Wheelchair race options providing opportunities for people of all abilities to experience the event together."
Said Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin: "Over the years, we have seen SCSM grow from a single-day event for a few thousand, to now, a weekend full of running and lifestyle activities catered for running enthusiasts, volunteers, supporters and corporate partners.
"We are glad to see new offerings at the Kids Dash to further encourage families to participate in sport and create shared memories together.
"We are pleased that Ironman Asia is constantly enhancing the event experience and finding new ways to involve the community in a bigger way."
Added Meyer: "SCSM is the region's marquee race, and as organisers, we are committed to bringing all runners the most holistic race experience regardless of level.
"While we focus on the World Marathon Majors goal, we are dedicated to continually developing all aspects of the race through creating new experiences to grow the running community."
The SCSM, which attracted over 48,000 participants last year, also has a tie-up with the ST Run,which takes place on Sept 23. The first 3,000 runners who sign up for both events will receive an exclusive gift.