Filipino runners flock by thousands to historic Singapore Marathon – Rappler

Filipino runners flock by thousands to historic Singapore Marathon  Rappler

BY THE THOUSANDS. The Singapore Marathon draws 50,000 runners from all over the world. Photo from Singapore Marathon

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SINGAPORE – Filipinos made sure to give a show of force in the 2019 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon held recently in Marina Bay, Singapore.

They did just that and then some as more than 3,900 Filipinos, making up nearly 10% of the 50,000-strong athlete field across 133 nationalities, participated in the event’s various races scattered across The Lion City over the weekend.

Cebuano veteran Noel Tillor was the lone Filipino podium finisher in the Singapore Marathon’s first-ever evening flag-off, placing 3rd overall with a time of 1:19:57 in the 21-kilometer half-marathon.

“‘Di ako nag-expect na maka-3rd ngayon kasi marami ang nagko-compete sa ibang bansa, pero I tried my best lang na makuha ‘to,” the 34-year-old runner said after the race. “It’s a big bonus for me na nasa podium at top 3 pa.”

(I didn’t expect to go 3rd because there are so many competitors from other countries, but I just tried my best to get this. It’s a big bonus for me that I’m at the podium and in 3rd place.)

The hometown tandem of Prashan Silva (1:17:02) and Shobib Marican (1:17:42) did not give Tillor a chance to sneak past them, but the three-time Singapore Marathon competitor gave himself just enough distance from Chong Qi Tan (1:20:15) to prevent a full Singaporean podium finish.

Kenyans expectedly lorded over the full marathon leaderboards as defending champions Joshua Kipkorir (2:19:13) and Priscah Cherono (2:28:53) retained their men’s and women’s titles, respectively, in the full 42-kilometer run. Cherono even broke the women’s course record during her impressive stretch on Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, the Japanese duo of Kota Hokonuie (1:36:23) and Sho Watanabe (1:36:29) clinched a 1-2 finish in the men’s wheelchair marathon while Aussie Madison De Rozario (1:49:56) struck gold in the women’s wheelchair division.

The last two races were held just a few hours after the 1:30 am full marathon cutoff on Sunday morning, with Frenchmen Guillaume Poulet (18:09) and Vincent Casanova (35:18) blitzing through the 5k and 10k runs, respectively.

A Kids’ Dash was also included as a side event, where toddlers as young as two months old got an early taste of the marathon experience, of course with the help of their parents all the way.

The 18th Singapore Marathon was held with the goal of pushing it for Abbott World Marathon Major consideration, putting the event in league with race world titans such as New York and Boston.

And according to Geoff Mayer, the Ironman managing director of Asia, that dream may just soon become reality.

“This year’s race marks a historical milestone in SCSM’s history. With the evening marathon start time and our strongest elite field together with the dedicated spectator zones, this has been our most ambitious race,” he said after the three-day event wrapped up.

“We have received good reviews from the Race Expo, and both the athletes and supporters were excited about the new evening format, together with the lineup of programmes and activities at the spectator zones.”

“We have set a clear goal in mind to put forward Singapore in the best light, and it prides me to see it all come together.” –