The Lion City, Singapore, was the location for the latest destination conquered on my quest to run the world. The island city-state in Southeast Asia played host to the annual Herbalife Marina Run, the race I used to tick off country # 35 in my 50×50 goal.
The Herbalife Marina Run was a relatively small event, with I’d estimate no more than 5,000 people participating in several different events: 5k, 10k, 21k and 30k. The race takes place in Marina Bay, – hence the name – an area located in the heart of Singapore. Built on reclaimed land, Marina Bay is an extension of the adjacent Central Business District with an impressive skyline filled with iconic architectural gems.
The race, which had a staggered start time for the various distances, beginning at 5pm for the 5K participants, took runners on an out and back loop starting at Gardens By The Bay East to Marina East Drive up and around Marina Barrage through East Coast Park and back to Gardens By The Bay East for the finish.
The course was mostly flat, though there were a couple of inclines, one pretty early in the race, which gave a nice view of the bay and the Singapore Flyer. With the out and back route, most runners did the return loop after the sun had set, providing great nighttime views of the bay lit up. The course was not cordoned off, so we were sharing space with others out for their daily run, bikers, pedestrians, rollerbladers, etc. There were little to no spectators along the way, which surprised me, but the race officials and the people manning the hydration stops along the course did a good job of cheering us on.
I found East Coast Park to be a little iffy because by that point of the course it was dark and the path was not well lit. In addition to straining my eyes to see the path in the dark, I was also trying to distinguish regular park-goers from the runners. Thankfully many wore the race singlets, which made it easier for me to identify and follow them to stay on course. I should note that there were race officials every few hundred feet pointing runners in the right direction, and while that helped, I’m still deducting points for the poorly lit course.
Those of you who have been reading along for a while know that no race recap is complete unless I complain talk about the weather. It was hot and very humid, which is to be expected in Singapore. I’ve run races in other cities in Southeast Asia, such as Bangkok and Penang, so I wasn’t really surprised. But still…WHEW! Thankfully, there was a light breeze that evening so it wasn’t unbearable.
Despite the humidity and poor lighting in certain sections of the course, Marina Run was a good race. Singapore is a great destination, and thanks to the film Crazy Rich Asians, is now on many people’s bucket list.
The overall organization of the event was good, and I can’t forget about the nice swag, which included a running singlet, a finisher’s t-shirt, and fabulous bling!
HOW TO REGISTER
If you’re interested in participating in the Marina Run in the future, get more information on the event and how to register on the Marina Run website.
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