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Monday, December 08, 2014

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2014

Note: When I penned the below post last night, it was without the knowledge that the organiser of the SCMS had actually asked runners who failed to meet certain unspecified time at unannounced designated points, to be diverted to run a "shorter route". Since the publication of my post and following media queries,  the organiser has made a public announcement on this here.

I would therefore like to offer my sincere apologies to the individuals who were included in the post below for any embarrassment that I have caused to them. While I have decided to keep the post, I have deleted the photos and any references to the identity of the individuals. I know no apologies or words can right whatever that has been done but once again I would like to tender my apology.



Well I was at the Garden by the Bay East on Sunday taking photos of the runners doing the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. (SCMS). This was roughly at the 35 km part of the race. The first runners came by around 7 am roughly 2 hours after the flag off. Those were the elites. A rough back of the envelope calculation - the average 4 hours runners will reach this area around 8.20 am and indeed the 4 hours pacers came pass me at 8.19 am.

But way before that I had already noticed a very unique hi usual thing. As a regular runner and active photographer for the past years, I can recognise a fair number of the local runners who can do sub-4 and there aren't really a lot of them here in Singapore. And even if I don't recognise them, I can tell by the way they run that they are seasoned runners and used to that type of timing. But what was interesting this time was that I could see many unfamiliar faces and people who pardoned my saying so, do not look like runners who are capable of doing this type of timing. Now I know looks can be deceiving but it is kinda difficult to believe that these following people can run sub 4 marathon.


And more over as I came to find out later, runner with orange bib are self declared sub 5 hours runner and starts in a much later wave. So they couldn't have been so fast to reach 35 km in just over 3 hours!

And true enough, my instinct was right. A quick search at the event site and these are their race splits. Looks like all of them skipped the distance between the 10 km checkpoint and the 30 km checkpoint slashing a cool 20 km off the total distance. 



And everyone seems to be doing it. Not just the not so athletic looking people but the young folks like this guy


And foreigners as well

And even the very athletic looking guys are doing it. The type that looks perfectly capable of doing this sort of timing but look at the splits


And there are more, too many for me to list them all here.

Looking at the splits, almost all of them turn off after the 10 km checkpoint which is somewhere around the  Sports Hub. I believe after coming out from that area, instead of going towards Fort Road and East Coast Park, they simply turned right on Tanjong Rhu to Garden by the Bay East and continue on from there. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they got lost but I really really doubt it is the case. 

And again I like to think that the weather was too hot for them and they decided not to continue on but turned back. But they should then do the right thing and not cross the finish line but in all cases they did which leaves me with only one conclusion - they just want the finisher tee, medal and the bragging rights that come along with it and are not interested at all in completing the distance!

Me think it is high time race organiser takes steps to weed out these sort of behaviour. It is not good for a "gold class" event and a waste of resources and hinder the genuine runners. For starter, I think event organiser should stop giving away finisher tees at the finish line like  what many overseas races do. I am very sure that the event won't be so attractive to the non-runners if there is no finisher tee for them to wear around town to show off. Race organiser should also ensure strict compliance of race rules and barriers and marshals should be deployed at vulnerable junctions and points along the routes to reduce such inAnd last but not least, get the timing system working properly so that their status is stated as DSQ and not "Finished".http://runeatgossip.com/2014/12/standard-chartered-marathon-singapore-2014.html/

91 comments:

  1. Well, unfortunately you are right cause I also saw some making a turn at East Coast Park but no one stop them.

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  2. A true runner will finish the race with integrity, even the physically less-mobiled folks also uphold the same spirit. Shame to those who don't!

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  3. Actually, these runners "cheated" unwittingly. I also nearly saved 18 km but by detoured from the 31 km marker back to ECP.
    From my friend Jasmine, also a Race Supervisor/Marshaller:
    Hahaha...cos route diversion after 7.30am as roads needed to be opened soon...so route was diverted to run into MCE bypassing ECP...by that is for "slow runners"

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    1. This is very strange. The SCMS is a gold class events and has to meet international standards. If runners failed to meet cut off (assuming there is any cut off in the first place) they should be made to go up the sweeper bus and not asked to detour.

      Delete
    2. I don't think they will close the running track so soon, check this BIP no. 15528, he completed his marathon in 8hr 50min.

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    3. Complete outside cutoff is finished.. Not finisher.. According to the religious high grounds in this blog is equally guilty as the shortcutters.. Death by cyberbullying if the tee and medal was taken..

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  4. It really sucks alright and left if this report was true.

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    1. Well done for the endurance.
      Train harder and earlier. I am sure you will finish the full 42km next time round.

      Delete
    2. Those non finishers that are given a chance to explain have been pardoned and set free, those whose photos were published before any explanation were given have already been stoned..

      I call this fluctuating moral high ground.. Coz somewhere down the comments, someone said if u did nt complete, but accepted the freebies anyway, u are still a cheater.. Hmmm

      Delete
  6. Running is individual integrity. This grp of runners Wil hv to deal w their conscience.

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  8. Don't call others cheaters until you know they cheated on purpose. I wasn't there, I'm not sure but I guess some might just be dumb enough to follow the crowd but not necessary do it on purpose.

    But I guess the few u posted are fishy cause they sign up as sub 5 hrs runners. Well, I guess it'll be interesting if you contact them for an interview.

    StanChart Marathon Shame on you, as you are the one who allowed it. People always cheat but u allowed it. Distasteful.

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    Replies
    1. Well said, I agree. Some might not have did it on purpose but they followed blindly. Seek to understand before being understood.

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    2. So it's not right to call them cheaters if they have with dodgy timings(even if they unwittingly did so by following blindly) and end up still giving the thumbs up, but it's alright for you to call them dumb?

      Delete
    3. I had very bad experience with StanChart staff, when u say they allow people to cheat, i agreed becoz they have cheating & dishonest staff, what do u expect? Oh i almost forgot arrogant bully as well.

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    4. whether you know it or not, it is still cheating because you have not completed it. period.

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    5. Please give stanchart a break.. They are closing 100 over outlets globally I think and employees are losing their jobs. Budget cut..

      Delete
  9. What a shameful thing to do. I agree with all of you, report this matter! Remember last year the guy who cheat? Shame!!!

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  10. Race organisers want more people yo join so they can collect race fees, also, organisers do not want people to collaspe: ambulance service costs $$$ to run/ get back up: whether people indeed run full distance is least of race organiser's concern: FYI: race tees overstock are either donated to charity (old folks homes) or sold pasir malam $5/ piece: so I don't know what is the big deal wearing one around town...

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  11. So far no seniors seen cheating. It's all about self-respect and honesty.

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  12. "I can tell by the way they run that they are seasoned runners and used to that type of timing." Really?
    and the timing mats also not placed at every 5KM also, how did they come up with the splits ah?

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. So what if they cheat? Did they cheat any of you? Your ranking fell from 199 to 254?

    As much as I dislike the hand holding that blocks the so called 'true' runners and the 10k runners under training and showing the shaq that it overpowers the gruel of the 42k runners, so what. If any of you are that competitive, go for the sub3h or at least the first 10 positions so that you will not be troubled by all these.

    If this was the first steps of anyone that may like running in time to come and your stupid post kill their dream or even their wavering determination to get fit, you are indeed the bigger asshole.

    The distribution of medals and finisher-tee is the responsibility of the organisers and if they spend so much on checkpoints but are unwilling to police the freebies, they should be the ones you harass.

    For most of us this is but a national event and the healthy kind. Go ahead, douse the fire and be the cranky calculative photographer that wants to be a policeman, but never got to fulfill his dreams.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. what do you mean "so what?" shall we turn blind eye and just let them clutter the road because '"so what?" no one will stand up against us anyway'. Would you want to run at an event with a crowd full of cheaters? Would you not mind running zigzag because these cheaters are blocking the way? And at the finish line, they get the same medal and shirt you ever so deserve. well, oh yea. so what.

      Delete
    2. Can't possibly agree with Wan Jia Wei! He's obviously not a runner. We runners work and sweat throughout the year so that we can enjoy competing in a fair race against our peers - then all that effort is spoilt for us by cheats who just want a medal & t shirt! Shame on them! Race organisors have a responsibility when they take our entrance fees, to ensure that races are properly marshalled. And genuine participants (and photographers!) also have a resonsibility to report cheats. Here in Sabah, our main race organisor just bans cheats for life! It's sad for me to say it, but this cheating mentality, as supported by Mr Wan Jia Wei, is a sickness that is common in some countries of Asia, and needs to be stamped out!

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    3. Errrrrrm Jia Wei, to keep fit doesn't require running a marathon but running a marathon requires way more than fitness as the participant should respect the distance. Even if you don't agree with the blogger, you shouldn't resort to calling names in public space.

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    4. so what??? cheating should not be encourage no matter what.

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    5. My point is that I just disagree with the method of shaming, not that I agree with cheating.. Duh..

      Hmm no name calling, but cyber bullying ok.. Earlier say may. I apologise.. I will cyberbully without name calling and anyway I didnt know the name was asshole, really paiseh hor..

      Delete
    6. Hailey, really, u should turn a blind eye, it doesnt hurt.. Try it. It may hurt if u r podium material, but till then get yourself the run to bond tee that holds so much meaning that I see often nowadays.

      Warrior, generally I wouldnt count myself as a runner, rather a jogger, unless with speedy friends, or during IPPT when $400 is a given. As such most times I really jog even for races =)

      Ling, I seriously cant be bothered about the distance.. Throw me any distance and I will show u what is nonDNF material.. Its the speed in the distance that is important and above and beyond all it is character more than fitness that really matters.. And in this case it begins with each individual rather than imposing your own expectations/character on others. Even if the blogger dont agree with the runners, he shouldnt be posting their pics without permission. Where is his ethics as a photographer for a national event. I think organisers have media passes for official photgraphers and if he is an official, he should be barred from future events. The right thing to do would be to submit photos and other evidence to organisers for discussion.

      In any case, he has opened himself to legal scrutiny.

      Cheating is not encouraged, but even killing is divided into manslaughter and murder..

      Now what?

      Delete
    7. Yes, it does hurt the integrity of the sport. Now you're reversing sides, you're imposing that cheating isn't encouraged. But don't you think that "not discouraging" can tantamount to encouraging? it's like "yeah, let them be! let them ruin our running pace because, well again, so what?"

      Your argument, sir, is just invalid.

      Delete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. If Want to cheat might as well buy finisher tee on carousell. Such a waste.

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    Replies
    1. Ive got at least 50 tees for sale.. All unwrapped, posted one that I got from France recently, no one wanna buy.. Sian..

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    2. Thats for last year 2013 only. Earlier or current models also available, if got lobang let me know..

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  17. forgive them for they dont what they are doing.😜😄😛

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  18. Unfortunately your observations are true and fact based. I myself finished at net 3h35min and passed many of those with a red number between km 30 and around km 36 and couldn't believe my eyes. It is a real shame and shows also significant deficits from the organizers ! On top they can't do even a proper wave start and the finishing just is unacceptable fighting your way through the masses. This for sure is not at Gold standard. They should also reduce the cut off time like all the other well organized international races I have run. 8 hours cut-off is walking, not running or even jogging. But the organizers don't listen and those complaints have been brought up since years. It is a mass commercial event and it would be so easy-with some simple measures- to make a real great event both from a commercial perspective and at the end and most importantly-a quality sports event that meets international standards. If they want I tell them how to do....:)

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    1. At least its better than last yr.. Had to climb over 3m high barricades to access start points and was manhandled by 3 security guys. The only prob this yr was the inconsistent music at the start point that coz bird to shit on me when the music was suddenly turned on.

      Advice to organisers:
      Do not frighten birds.
      Make sure barricades are closed at the top, like a cage.
      Make sure security personnel can run faster than runners and employ more than 3 at each entry point.
      Lastly, make cutoff pt 3h to raise the standard of Singapore marathoning..
      Heng ar, nv implement this yr.. Not enough finishers to even podium..

      Delete
  19. THIS ANNUAL MARATHON EVENT IS FAST BECOMING A SHAM .... SO SAD :-(

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Any race less than 50k that charges more than $1/km is rubbish and I jave since repented and not paid for em.. Pay only if u got a chance to at least podium back your moneys worth..

      Delete
  20. I wont blame all this people, some may be cheated and some are impacted by organizer. The race marshal were diverted many slow runners without allowing them to enter ECP, So they jumped from 12km to 31km. It happened to me, they advised us not to enter the ECP and asked us to continue from 31km .But we had a argument that we need to continue the race and they allowed us to enter the ECP. However, they put barricade and stopped us at 18km and diverted us to join the opposite site-25.5km.Even though we had argument to continue, they didn't allow us to continue. So, most of the slow runners are impacted by this. Though i wish to run full, i completed my run with 33-34km in total. The organizer should clearly communicate the stage cut-off time to runners like SCMHK, so slow runners may not register for 42km.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You clearly did not read the article and jumped to defend the people who crossed the 8 hour mark. Look at the above pictures again, they crossed the finish line way before the cut-off timing.

      Also, the 8 hour cut-off is clearly stated in the SCMS website and is well-known to be standard for all marathons. I won't blame you if you say you didn't know but please don't push it to SCMS (although they clearly did quite a bad job at preventing the cheating).

      Delete
  21. Ooh. I have never ran a marathon, but why would people want useless medals and finisher tees? My husband has those tees only collecting dust and kudos to people who even run at all.. but why would they cheat to get rubbish? It is like queueing up to get a free notebook and pen.

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    Replies
    1. The point is the pen n notebook are more useful.. The finisher tee is kinda useful, but why would anyone want to wear a tee out, that maybe 10k others might have.. Eeeees...

      Delete
  22. I think the author has nothing better to do.
    So what if the runners are indeed taking a shortcut? As far as I'm concerned, they are not doing so that they can come up as the top few runners for the monetary rewards, and neither would they have affected these runners in anyway.

    Let's face it, running events in Singapore has already degenerated into events for people to collect finishers' tees and medals. They paid for the event (which would have included the cost of these things), and they were lazy to run the whole distance, so they took a shortcut. From what I see, they would have completed the event much earlier, clearing some space for the other actual runners. So that's one plus point.

    Just like the many of you who posed and took photographs with my Lamborghini that I parked at the HDB carpark and uploaded the photos to Facebook to showoff, you and your friends would easily know whether that is real or not. If you are happy, and don't scratch my car in the process, I am more than happy to make your day.

    Cheers
    Jeff

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    Replies
    1. You're a person of very questionable moral standards. Let's face it, people like you will justify any bad deeds because there are others doing it and "it's no big deal", "they paid for it" bla bla bla. Well, most of that is all your self-justifying nonsense excuses. A cheater is a cheater, whether or not they affected others or not.

      Oh and in this case, they DID affect the other genuine finishers by bringing this year's results into disrepute, so you are also wrong on that point where you assumed they did not affect others.

      Delete
    2. Don't be such an angry person. Using the issue of a short cut in a run which they have no intention of 'winning the race and cheating the top prizes' to question my moral standards seems way too serious. There are more important things in life than ensuring that all the 42km finisher's tee out there are are legit, when the organisers themselves don't even enforce it.

      "A cheater is a cheater, whether or not they affected others or not." - yes I agree. I'm pretty sure they know it, but I'm also pretty sure that they are not losing sleep over it, maybe not until their name and photos were put up here and shamed.

      "DID affect the other genuine finishers by bringing this year's results into disrepute" - I'm pretty sure that apart from your rankings, the timings are still pretty accurate. And guess what, as a runner, I am more concerned about my own timing than anything else.

      Delete
    3. I paid for my university school fees (which is inclusive of the examination fees and cost of certificate printing) and I'm lazy to study, The school should just award me my degree, this way, People who really wants to study can take my seat in the examination hall. Right?

      And If I had a dollar everytime I see someone on the internet claiming to own a Lamborghini, I would probably have enough money to buy one for myself

      Delete
    4. Comparing the run to a University course? I think given how freely the medals and finishers' tees are given out a better comparison would be the 'how to get rich' course which they would send you the certificate of participation even if you did not turn up for it.

      Regarding the Lambo, I'm afraid that's not how things work around here. To be able to own one, you really have to work hard to earn / make alot of money.

      Delete
    5. There's always haters and those whose moral grounds are one notch up others. If u walk a straight line, their line is always straighter. They will challenge u on ur psle if theirs is 275, while they hide their olevel failures..

      How about this.. 42km if really wanna run anyday also can run.. Must as well use the participation fees to help the poor.. Arthur and ocping.. I doubt ur moral standards..

      Delete
  23. Yeah nobody gives a damn. So much drama over some non-event that merely causes lots of inconvenience. Gold class event? Riiiight... when was the last time you ever heard a tourist go "Singapore? Oh XXYY marathon!". Lame.

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  24. The original writer and a few others should apologise to the hundreds of us who were not allowed to run the full race by organisers. By calling us cheaters. Without investigating. They should say sorry. If they have integrity at all.

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    Replies
    1. Firstly, the author is calling these people cheaters because they clearly had dodgy timings and yet finished the race well within the cut-off time. If you were too slow and could not run the full race, it does not include you.

      Second, part of the fault lies with StanChart of course, but ultimately, they are not the party who decided to cheat. If people want to cheat, it is their choice and ultimately the entire burden of cheating lies on them. I can only say StanChart will lose its reputation as a good marathon organizer, but they did not encourage people to cheat, they just failed in preventing it from happening.

      So no, no one owes you or the hundreds of others "who were not allowed to run the full race" any apologies. If you crossed the 8 hour mark and were ushered up the sweeper bus and YET still accepted the finisher tee and medal, guess what? You're a cheater too.

      Delete
    2. Ocping, with ur high morals, it should come with some grace and kindness.. Based on ur high moral standards, why dont u set an example by volunteering to offer train these slow runners to a time they can safely complete the mara without succumbing to cheating..

      Delete
    3. Jia Wei: With your higher moral grounds, why not volunteer to help stand chartered to do a better job next time. It is disgraceful enough that this happens. The reputation of this marathon is already at stake. Last year, it also happens. Why can't they learn?

      Delete
  25. Marathons are a really big commitment n achievement markers. I respect those to paid to take up e challenge. But finisher tee Shld be onli given to those who really ran 42.195km so that they can wear it will pride like me!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. My pride is only in my bib that stayed with me throughout.. Its been years since I last wore a medal or even took out the race or finisher tee from the wrapper.. Thinking of weaving it into a blanket soon..

      Delete
  26. I've never run a marathon before, and I don't care to join one. I don't know any of the people that you featured in this blog post. But don't you think you're very, very mean to post their photos and names? What is this shame culture about? Stop shaming people. Everyone is going through shit everyday, so why do you give them more shit? Be kind to others.

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    Replies
    1. don't cheat if you don't want shame!!!

      Delete
    2. At that point its not cheating, they just wanna get back.. And when they got back, they are ushered to get their freebies.. Do u even run races?!

      Delete
  27. Actually it takes a lot of courage to attempt a Marathon. Even though I have done it 14 times officially, every time is a challenge as you face new struggles.
    Singapore is moving towards mass participation for sports events as a means of encouraging more to lead a healthier lifestyle.
    While integrity is important, let's not stoke the flaming (STOMP) culture that is intrinsically undesirable, by naming and shaming these "cheaters".
    Instead, we should be heartened that Marathoning is gaining popularity, attested by the growing numbers of runners each year!
    The author should research the facts beforehand like what a responsible journalist would do, so as not to cause uncalled for embarrassment to the "shamed" runners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Point is why sign up to run marathon when there are other shorter distance (10km, 21km, kids dash).

      Delete
    2. Its scms, not schms, not sc10kms.. Duh.. The race organisers just wanna make more money by opening up the other races..

      Delete
  28. i didnt cheat, so i cannot finished the race due to cut off time ....

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  30. always think that DNF is a nice way! but cheat is not proper... its called dirty way!

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    Replies
    1. In my dictionary DNF dont even exist.., but I dont impose it on others..

      Delete
  31. inadvertently, now more people may know how to cheat just to get that medal and tee easy - run so slow that marshalls divert u.
    this reminds me of some pple who will not carry original LV bags (for example) cos too many fakes around. even tho u could say one should not bother what others think (when u carry a orig n others think u carry fake),
    u cant deny our human nature that even 0.1% we do bother what others think of us.
    there are pple who have genuinely made some achievement and just wanted to reward themselves with a original vanity item n feel good about themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great Work by RunningSucks blog; I got your link from SGcarmart and I think lots of netizens are talking about it; Next time Stanchart should rope you in as Consultant ; Brings new meaning to you can run short cut but no bragging rights of completion and coming to the Hall of Shame instead; If cannot do 42 just do the 21km or even 10 is fine- why Cheat??

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    Replies
    1. I think the organisers are well aware of such scenarios happening. Question then is - Do they care? In fact, I really cannot understand what's with anger regarding these people 'cheating their way to a medal / finishers' tees'.

      To many people, running events in Singapore are really just an avenue to collect more things (medals) [think: Singaporeans queing up for Hello Kitty], and probably enjoy some time-out with friends.

      As a runner, I just enjoy the run, and thank the organisers for settling the logistics.

      Delete
    2. People such as Paresh are what I call real friends if they cost share the lawsuit with u..

      Delete
    3. People such as Paresh are what I call real friends if they cost share the lawsuit with u..

      Delete
  33. http://www.marathonsingapore.com/public-announcement-about-scms-2014-results/

    Read this!!! You maybe wrong about them

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  36. All those that question the saltiness of my sweat and the value of my work, I really dont know how to compare. All I can say is give me a distance, give me a challenge and let's rumble.

    It's true that I am irritated by the blockage of runners, but its also true that I have no qualms zigzagging runners. At the end of the day, what is a couple of minutes and more so seconds if you can't even be a gracious runner.

    Trust that I will not intentionally push or even pressure a slower runner in a race for I am definitely a slower runner to many others.

    Let's just put it that there are many that signed up for a mara in excitement and many didnt think about training, and even then there are some that are overwhelmed by the distance and then there those that get sick, not rested or just off on race day to complete and decide to take a short cut.

    Could they be considered considerate, to not push medical assistance is required where preventable so that resources could be used for more extreme emergencies? Could they be considered responsible to at least bring themselves back to the end point?

    Its one thing to give an option, then its another to post photos n cyber-bully.. So what if u give a disclaimer or a don't read on blah blah blah.. If u wanna have a taste of what real cyberbullying is, let me know.. (typed this and couldnt post as u took down the blog temporarily)

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    Replies
    1. Damage has already been done. No use put plaster to cover wound which is so deep. Blogger should reflect on this with the rest of his life

      Delete
  37. Pls apologize to each single person whom u posted to shame them! U Deserved no sympathy and no respect from others!

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  38. Well what's done is done. Out of curiosity, you yourself noted about the number of people. Since everybody who didn't make the cut-off timing was diverted, the cheating would have appeared to be of epic proportions. 1 or 2 people I would assume to be cheating without much thought, but THIS many people shaving 20Km off a 35Km run? Did you have a moment when you went ...hang on....

    I mean if I was in an exam hall and 50% of the people took out their textbooks and started copying, I would probably catch an invigilator and ask if this was an open-book exam.

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