SINGAPORE - The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) could soon share the same prestige as the likes of the Boston Marathon and Berlin Marathon, if it succeeds in its bid to become an Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM) event.
Previously named the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, the SCSM has been an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Gold Label race since 2012.
Currently, the Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo, London, Berlin, New York, Chicago and Boston.
News of the bid was announced on Thursday (April 27) at the SCSM event launch at Marina Bay Sands.
SCSM organiser Ironman Asia's managing director Geoff Meyer believes the Singapore Marathon is "perfectly placed to be a World Marathon Major", citing the popularity of the race in the region.
"With the support of our Ironman global network and our longstanding commitment to the Singapore Marathon, I am confident that we can bring the event to greater heights and develop Singapore as a premier running destination," he added. "Stay tuned as we will be rolling out our roadmap and vision for the future of the race in the coming months."
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who was guest of honour at the launch, added: "The SCSM is a good example of the power of sport in bringing people together. Since 2002, the annual event has drawn together friends, family members and companies as a community, united in their common passion for running and keeping fit.
"I would like to thank title sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank and the other partners for developing and supporting our Singapore race over the years. I look forward to the SCSM becoming a part of the international league of marathon majors."
Standard Chartered Bank, a sponsor of the Singapore Marathon since 2002, also announced that it would renew its commitment with an $11.4 million, three-year sponsorship till 2019, in support of the bid.
The event will also see a new race apparel sponsor in Under Armour, which will provide the event and finisher T-shirts.
Now in its 16th edition, participants of the Dec 2-3 SCSM can also look forward to several elements introduced to enhance their race experience.
One such element is a runners' loyalty programme that will be unveiled in July. Participants who have clocked more than 300 kilmetres since the 2010 edition will get a customised running T-shirt and a collector 300km club coin.
This year's race pack, worth over $180, includes new items like a free race-day personal accident plan and an upgraded backpack.
A new route has also been established for the full and half-marathon categories, and runners will this year experience new features like mist tunnels and cooling zones during their race.
The SCSM has also partnered this year's The Straits Times Run, which will take place on July 16. Those who sign up for both events will get an exclusive gift of a 10-litre dry bag. National marathoner Mok Ying Ren is also helming an eight-month training plan to prepare runners for both races. Standard Chartered card holders will also get a 15 per cent discount off both runs.