OSIM Sundown Marathon 2019 – What is it like running a half-marathon past midnight for a second time?
I participated in my first-ever night half-marathon last year at the OSIM Sundown Marathon Singapore 2018 and told myself I need to do it again this year as I wasn’t able to give my best due to knees injuries.
Into it’s 12th edition this year, the OSIM Sundown Marathon Singapore 2019 is Asia’s largest night race and saw participation from close to 25,000 runners flagged off at the F1 Pit Building on Saturday night.
What is it like to run a half-marathon past midnight for a second time?
For one, my knees were less of a problem this year and I was able to complete the run without limping on the last few kilometres. This time round, I also took an afternoon nap to ensure I am well rested and ate a late dinner.
There were some glitches this year, including a delayed flag-off for the half-marathon and full marathon as well as some of the hydration points running out of water.
Nonetheless, the runners were mostly in good spirit and went on to complete our runs without any major complains in general. I guess it helped that the event emcees and organisers were extremely apologetic over the glitches. When they owe up so readily for the hiccups, it is easier to forgive and make do than to fault them and kick a fuss.
The race took us through some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks and I got to snap some cool night shots along the way.
It rained lightly throughout the night and the air was rather hot and humid. It wasn’t exactly the most comfortable conditions to run, but that’s Mother Nature for you and you just make do with the weather. The clothing material for this year’s race was a lifesaver – it was airy and breathable, making the night stuffiness more bearable.
Upon completing the race, I lingered around the Race Village for a while. It’s pretty amazing to see so many people still awake and mingling around at past 4am in the morning! There was a festive atmosphere and people were having fun as if it was a regular evening.
By the time I got home, it was past 5am. I took a quick shower and then rested on the OSIM uLove for a rejuvenating massage before heading to bed. Next year, I be back again to challenge myself for another night run at the next OSIM Sundown Marathon!
Clinching the Marathon Men’s title was Hillary Kipkering (Kenya), with a timing of 02:49:33; while Singapore’s very own Sharon Tan clocked a timing of 03:23:16 to finish as the first in the women’s category.
“The weather was very cooling and the course was quite clear. My favourite part was running at East Coast Park cos it was really peaceful and surreal. I don’t get to run there often so I really appreciated it. I was aiming for a sub 3:30 today so I’m very happy with my timing. I think training with a group helps – previously I was training alone but for this run I started training with a running group. It’s very encouraging to see familiar faces along the route and your friends will motivate you,” said Tan.
The Half Marathon saw the return of familiar local faces such as Soh Ruiyong and Rachel See. With a winning time of 01:11:47, Soh clinched the first place for the Men’s category while Maki Inami (Japan) took the women’s category at 01:22:19.
“I’m actually pretty happy with today’s race being my first ever OSIM Sundown Marathon. I think this is the fastest time I’ve ran for a half marathon in Singapore. I’ve ran five minutes faster overseas but that was in much better weather. To be in a competition with an international athlete today, especially a Kenyan and to be able to come through that kind of battle, pull through and finish first, is definitely the kind of experience I need leading up to the SEA games and other competitions,” recounted Soh.
The Race Village
This edition saw great enhancements at the race village, with an array of refreshing new experiences lined up till the break of dawn.
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Participants were treated to post-race massages, Marvel movies being screened though the night, and even sunset yoga sessions for runners and supporters. Football fans were also very pleased to catch the UEFA Champions League Finals early this morning and witness Liverpool clinch the coveted title with their running buddies.
“It was indeed a night of celebrations to see the running community enjoy the cool night breeze and breaking their personal bests. We are glad to be working with F4U on this journey of Sundown Marathon. The event has grown from strength to strength and it has been a delight to see runners enjoy the race and post-race festivities,” said Jeffrey Foo, Director of Infinitus Productions Pte. Ltd.