Athletics: StanChart Singapore Marathon aims to be a night race next year

Plans are underway to make the 2018 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore Marathon (SCMS) a night race. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Plans are underway to make the 2018 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore Marathon (SCMS) a night race as it attempts to add the 'wow' factor and earn entry into the exclusive World Marathon Majors club.

This was revealed to The Straits Times by Geoff Meyer, the managing director of race organiser Ironman Asia, on Monday (Oct 23).

The 48-year-old said: "They (the World Marathon Majors) gave us a thick document of all the improvements that we needed to do and we've done that from a technical element, making sure the courses were wider, less congested, entertainment, aid stations, drink stations... all the technical elements. I think we've done a really good job on that.

"The big factor for World Marathon Majors is you need to have a 'wow' factor - London, New York, Chicago... they have huge crowds, huge atmosphere. It's a running experience that's second to none. That's where we need to change and we are working with the Government at the moment to be able to do that.

"What we need to do to make this event iconic and put it on the global map is what Formula One has done by turning it into a night event. We can flag off at 5pm or 6pm and run under the city lights with the finish at about midnight with fireworks. We can create a real running festival around it. And we are really focusing on doing that in 2018."

But the Australian added that it will take a huge effort to organise a night marathon as logistics and road closures will need to be coordinated with various Government agencies and partners.

Meyer said: "We still need support from the Government. We already have certain agencies on board. Yes, we want to do this but there's still a bit more to get to that next level and make it a Major.

"You can run around Marina Bay at 7am in the morning and you can have the whole place to yourself. But if you run around there at night, it is packed with people. If we can turn the StanChart Singapore Marathon into that (night) time slot and be able to run through the city, it will really showcase Singapore. It will truly become iconic overnight."

This year's SCMS will be held on Dec 2-3 with the marathon on Dec 3 flagging off at Orchard Road. The route will take runners through places of interest like Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street and the Marina Bay waterfront before ending at the Padang.

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