53,000 took part in streamlined version of the island's premier running event
SINGAPORE — The Kenyans have once again dominated Standard Chartered Marathon.
On Sunday, 53,000 runners took off just before dawn in a run that featured three different race routes.
The full marathon flagged off at Orchard Road, before leading the runners past the Singapore Flyer.
Taking the Men’s Open title was Kenya’s Kiproo Lilan Kennedy.
He upstaged course-record holder Luke Kibet and finished the 42.195—kilometre race in 2 hours 17 minutes and 20.27 seconds.
Kennedy said: "The time today was no good. Maybe next year, I (will) prepare and improve the time and break the record."
Compatriot Irene Kosgei Jerotich won the women’s title in 2 hours 37 minutes and 53.51 seconds —— a historic third successive title for her in Singapore.
Jerotich said: "In the previous two years, it was a bit easier for me as during half of my way, 35km, I could push alone. But today, it was not easy to push alone. At (the) 35km (mark), we were still in a group —— almost a group of seven —— so it was really hard job."
The Kenyans also dominated the half marathon and 10—kilometre races.
In the local Men's Open category, Ashley Liew clocked 2:45:06.26 and took the crown from perennial favourite Mok Ying Ren who came in third. Anne Qi Hui claimed her fourth consecutive crown in the female category with a time of 3:17:06.51.
Acting Culture, Community and Youth Minister, Lawrence Wong, who flagged off the full marathon, praised the event’s success and said organisers will continue to fine—tune and improve it.
Mr Wong said: "The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore is an important event in our sporting calendar. Every year, I see the event improving and getting better.
"The event has become more of an experience than just a race as I see more volunteers, families and supporters immersed in the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore experience."
Mr Wong added that corporate sponsorships are critical for the development of sports and touched on the naming rights for the Sports Hub.
He said the National Stadium will not be named, but other facilities like the Aquatics Centre, Multi—purpose Hall can be commercialised in terms of naming rights. The proposal will have to be agreed by the Singapore Sports Council.
Mr Wong said: "There are speculations by the media about some proposals, this will be reviewed by the Singapore Sports Council in due course."
(Above) Official pacers of the Full Marathon getting ready for their race.