Singapore— The organisers of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon decided to hold its annual marathon on a Saturday night in December last weekend, and Singaporeans were not thrilled at all with the massive traffic jams due to the road closures because of the race (combined with the U2 concerts and many Black Friday sales).
One bride burst into tears because guests were very late to her wedding, including the groom’s parents, who got stuck in a 3-hour traffic jam. Some relatives never made it at all.
Busses ran two hours behind schedule, causing netizens to beg Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon to never schedule it on a Saturday night during the holiday season again.
This race has apparently been rated the third worst in the world, according to The Sole Supplier, a UK-based trainer review and news site. Topping the list is the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon, followed by the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon.
The races are ranked based on the following criteria: air quality, altitude, average finish times, average temperature and rainfall, starting entry fees, refreshment stations, medical aid, bathrooms, etc., and the rankings say that the Singapore marathons should “also be approached with caution”.
But the amount of negative feedback online has apparently caused the race’s organisers, Ironman Asia, to issue an apology. Ironman Asia’s managing director Geoff Meyer told The Straits Times (ST) on December 3, “This is our first year of holding it in the evening, and there were issues, but overall the feedback has been positive.
We apologise for the (congestion in the) Sentosa-Vivocity area… That was not done as well as it could have been, and we could have done better with small changes.”
On December 4, a lengthier apology was posted on the Facebook page of Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.
“Dear members of the public, thank you for your valuable feedback with regard to the traffic conditions on Saturday, 30 November 2019. We have read all your comments and feedback, and we apologise for the inconvenience caused. SCSM 2019 has presented many learnings for us to grow this race even further, to become one of the most renowned races in the world.
The planning of an inaugural evening marathon was a year in the making, with an extensive stakeholder outreach programme which begun in January 2019. Full traffic studies in consultation with various partners were done, with over 230 stakeholders contacted and advised with solutions for alternate routes mapped out for race day. Extensive road advisories were disseminated via media outlets alongside SCSM’s digital channels, and roads were reopened progressively to minimise inconvenience caused to road users.
In the last 18 years, SCSM has grown significantly to what it is today. We continue to take strides towards our goal of becoming an Abbott World Marathon Majors race, joining the likes of Tokyo, Boston, Chicago, Berlin, London and New York.
On Saturday evening, we saw an unprecedented number of spectators cheering their loved ones towards the finish. We hope to see Singapore not only embrace the sport of running, but also celebrate the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. As we strive to put on the best race in coming years, your feedback goes a long way in helping us take one step closer to our goal: making SCSM a race not just for runners, but a race for Singapore.”
As to whether or not SCSM 2020 will still be held on a Saturday night during the holiday season is still unknown, however. -/TISG