This year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) will be a special one for women.
Together with local running club Rockrunners, SCSM organisers launched the Women's Squad Activation; a customised training programme to help women prepare for the Dec 3 marquee race.
Geoff Meyer, managing director of Ironman Asia, said: "One of Ironman Asia's objectives is to increase women's participation in Singapore from the current average of 30 per cent closer to the global average of over 50 per cent.
"Running is very inclusive and with low barriers to entry, we hope this will encourage more women to lace up and start running."
Rockrunners founder Cheryl Tay praised the new programme. She said: "The initiative is an opportunity for women from all walks of life to come together and pursue personal fitness goals.
"We'll be hosting more sessions over the coming months and look forward to more runners joining us to train and prepare for race day."
Close to 100 women gathered at the Singapore Sports Hub for the event launch on Sunday, where they sweated it out in a high-intensity interval training session and a 3km run led by the Rockrunners.
Aabha Gandhi was glad she joined the event. The 37-year-old business editor will be running in her first competitive race, the 10km run, at the SCSM.
She said: "It's good because it helps first-timers understand how to train. You can run as much as you want but if you don't have a good posture and you don't work yourself out properly, these guys (Rockrunners) help you with that."
With more than 35,000 participants having signed up so far, the SCSM, into its 16th edition, will also feature three other categories alongside the traditional full and half-marathons. There will be a 10km race, a 600m Kids Dash and the Ekiden relay, in which a team of six runners each run a portion of the full marathon.
Spots for the Women Squad Activation are limited with only 200 available. For $15, participants will get an Under Armour training tee, access to four women-only running sessions on Aug 12, Sept 9, Oct 7 and Nov 4, along with priority access to yoga and barre at $5 a session.
•More information can be found at singaporemarathon.com/get-involved/women-squad
Registration for the SCSM is open until Nov 15 and can be done at singaporemarathon.com