StanChart Singapore Marathon launches first all-women squad to encourage more women to lace up

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad going through a HIIT session with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (standing) at OCBC Square on Aug 6, 2017.
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad going through a HIIT session with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (standing) at OCBC Square on Aug 6, 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad going through a HIIT session with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (hidden in the crowd) at OCBC Square on Aug 6, 2017.
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad going through a HIIT session with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (hidden in the crowd) at OCBC Square on Aug 6, 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad going through a HIIT session with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (hidden in the crowd) at OCBC Square on Aug 6, 2017.
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad going through a HIIT session with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (hidden in the crowd) at OCBC Square on Aug 6, 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad doing a three-kilometre run with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (front in bright orange top ) on Aug 6, 2017.
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad doing a three-kilometre run with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (front in bright orange top ) on Aug 6, 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad doing a three-kilometre run with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (front in bright orange top ) on Aug 6, 2017.
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad doing a three-kilometre run with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (front in bright orange top ) on Aug 6, 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad doing a three-kilometre run with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (front in bright orange top ) on Aug 6, 2017.
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women Squad doing a three-kilometre run with Rock The Naked Truth founder Cheryl Tay (front in bright orange top ) on Aug 6, 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - This year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) will be a special one for women.

Together with local running club Rockrunners, SCSM organisers have launched the Women's Squad Activation - a customised all-female training programme to help women prepare for the Dec 3 marquee race.

Geoff Meyer, managing director of Ironman Asia, said in a statement: "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 that this will encourage more women to lace up and start running."

Commenting on the new initiative, Rockrunners founder Cheryl Tay said: "It's great to have launched the Women Squad together with SCSM.

"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 and a 3km run led by the Rockrunners.

For a nominal sum of $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.

With more than 35,000 sign-ups 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 - where a team of six runners each run a portion of the full marathon.

Spots are limited for the Women Squad Activation with only 200 available. Those interested in joining can visit http://www.singaporemarathon.com/get-involved/women-squad

Registration for the races, however, is open until Nov 15. More information can be found at singaporemarathon.com.