2009 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon: Pre-Race

Monday, 7 December 2009  |  Race Reports

I’m back…and I survived the heat and humidity during all 42.195km of the 2009 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon! Before I tell you all about my race experience (I’m getting tired just thinking of it again!) allow me to share with you a few tips I successfully practiced prior to the actual race: December 4 &5, 2009 in Singapore…

Tip 1: Prioritize Recovery over Comfort

Who cares if I could barely breathe underneath my jeans? During the 3-hour flight to Singapore and pretty much half the day in the Lion City, I surreptitiously wore my Skins compression tights beneath my jeans for knee support.

Lo and behold, they worked like magic! When I awoke from a brief nap at our hotel room, the minor knee pain that was stressing me out was gone! Hallelujah!

Tip 2: Business Before Pleasure

The morning we arrived, hubby and I wasted no time in going to the Singapore Expo & Convention Center to claim our race packets. After all this was no vacation; it was an official race trip!


– The classic Singapore Marathon pre-race pose that I’m sure all runners have –


– Got the bag…Ready to shop! –

Hubby got his 21k pack, while I got my 42k. As expected, redemption was quick, easy, and very well-organized. Chips were double-checked before leaving to verify that it was correctly encoded with our names.

The expo offered a wide variety of products for runners and other sports, some at huge discounts. With most brands, such as Newton, 2XU, and Ultimate Direction now available in Manila, I didn’t spot too many products that I wouldn’t be able to purchase locally.

I did see this…Sundown Marathon, anyone?


I still managed to bring home new loot such as an Ultimate Direction race belt and 2XU cap that I had been pining over since last year. When it comes to shopping, all I really buy are running items so this was quite a treat for me. As seen in this photo, hubby had a blast too…


Tip 3: Meet Local Runners

The highlight of this trip (aside from the marathon, of course) was being reunited with my best running buddy Annie who, as much as I still hate to think about it, is now a Singapore local. (Boohoo!)

– with Annie and our dearest ultra running mommy, Kim –

Annie took hubby, Kim, and I to the carbo-loading party of the popular Singapore-based running group, Team FatBird, at Swensens, a pasta place with an eat-all-you-can ice cream bar (heaven!)

Team FatBird is composed of an awesome bunch of fun-loving, dynamic runners who are seriously committed to the sport. They meet regularly on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings for 10k runs and for long runs on weekends.


– with Anthony Sum of Team FatBird. Photo courtesy of Team FatBird –


– After our comedic interview by Team FatBird press for their blog –


– Annie dessert-loading BEFORE her actual carbo-loading –

Annie, now a Team FatBird member, introduced us to Anthony and David, the leaders of the team. Both were gracious hosts who answered our never-ending queries: Why FatBird?  Can you recommend another good destination race?  Where do we find the pacers on race day? (Team FatBird runners were the official pacers of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.)

After filling our bellies, we gathered together for a howling and seemingly never-ending toast to the marathon ahead!


– Check out David’s New Balance shoes! Cool! –

Thank you to Team Fat Bird for allowing us to crash your party!  It was nice to meet such a fantastic team of runners.

Click here to view Team FatBird’s website.

Tip 4: Say No to Spicy Food

My friend Alvin had reminded me thrice about staying away from spicy food before the race. Luckily, the carbo loading party was TWO nights before the race so when the Black Pepper pasta called out to me on the menu, I rationalized that Alvin didn’t mention exactly when I should avoid it. Plus, he was way back in Manila anyway.

The pasta was delicious…and it was awfully spicy, so spicy that my nose started running (at 4:30 pace!) after a few bites. By the next day, I was woken up by a tummy that could actually speak! It was in alien language though, something like “Mutu Buhu RAA!” Then, “Goo Gaba RAA!”  When translated, it means “Attention: You’ve now got tummy problems due to your stupidity! You better pray this will be gone by race day!” Fortunately, it did disappear! Close call there.

Tip 5: Nourish Your Body

It was easy to forget about our healthy diet during this trip with all the yummy food to taste and indulge in…


But, since we knew we needed adequate nutrients before the race, hubby and I swung by a wholesome grocery at Ion. The fresh, bright-colored fruits were a sight to see so we splurged on a bunch of grapes, cherries, blueberries and bananas that evening.


Tip 6: Think Before You Buy

Annie took us to Novena Velocity Mall where she bought us salt caps to combat the much dreaded cramps on race day. In the same store, we spotted another product that’s been on my wish list forever: Vibram Five Fingers.

I finally got my hands (or more like feet!) in them! The Sprint model looked good and it fit well. But, when I took them for a test run around the store and I felt the hard concrete beneath my foot, I wasn’t sure if I would actually have the nerve to use them back in Manila. For Php7,000+ a piece, it took me quite a while to decide. Final verdict: I chickened out and passed. Maybe next time.

Tip 7: Sleep Early

Hubby and I hit the sack on the eve of Marathon Day at 9 p.m. Good thing we did so because I woke up every single hour that night both eager and nervous about the race. I got out of bed at 3:30 a.m. and felt refreshed. I was all set to go…

NEXT POST: 2009 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Click here for 2008 Singapore Half-Marathon: Pre-RaceHalf-Marathon, and Post-Race