Day Two (Dec. 3):
Efficient Redemption and Interactive Expo
Redemption time as in time to redeem our race packs at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. To be honest about it, I was a bit apprehensive that the claiming procedure would involve a lot of long lines and waiting time. Although the releasing started December 1, I expected that a big majority of the 55,000+ registered runners for the SCMS would claim their respective race packs on this Saturday. Thus, with such a large volume of runners, the all-volunteer SCMS organizers could be swamped.
|Fards breezing thru the vast redemption lines of Hall F|
|Ernie and ED with the smiling SCMS volunteers|
But I was in for a surprise. Upon entering Hall F of the Sands Expo, it took me and my fellow 83nean runners less than 5 minutes to get our race packs. It was a breeze. It was an inspiring display of Singaporean efficiency. There were close to 100 pairs of race volunteers releasing the race packs. The pair was composed of a lead guy with a computer, who checked your proof of registration, and another guy to get the race pack. Simple and common sense but most definitely efficient and effective.
And upon exiting the releasing area, we found ourselves entering the Sports Expo where corporate sponsors (Asics, BMW, Tiger Balm, Shotz Sports Nutrition, Nathan, Nature Valley) and other sport groups treated SCMS participants to interactive displays of their products and some even gave out freebies and generous discounts.
|Bicol Motor Works|
|Ernie at the Perth Marathon booth|
Both Asics and BMW had their own finish line photo wall(s) which were much in demand among the runners, particularly the penguins like me who don’t have the chance to have a finish line string to cross in the actual race.
|Ed, Ernie, Fards, me and Bitoy at the Asics finish|
|Ed enjoying it at the BMW finish line|
For a Pinoy runner like me growing up with Hammer and Gu gels only, it was a refreshing feeling to see and taste various brands of energy gels. Shotz Sports Nutrition, Maxifuel and High Five offered energy food which came in liquid form, eliminating the need for water to push it down.
|Ed and me at the Shotz booth|
|At the High Five booth|
After almost 2 hours in the Sports Expo, we were finally able to leave but we left very happy with the experience. We got to soak in an international running sports expo. So happy indeed that we got to ham it up a bit on our picture taking in and outside the huge Sands Expo & Convention Centre. One thing that running does to middle-age fogies like me is make us feel and act young and very human again.
|Ferrari. We feel the desperate need for speed.|
|Jumping up with joy|
|Citius altius fortius waccius|
Actually, the good feeling started early in the morning of Day 2. Ernie. Fards and myself got to do a one-hour run around Marina Bay. I must admit most of the hour was spent on picture taking on some of the iconic Singapore must-sees like the Merlion Park, Esplanade Mall, and the Marina Bay Sands.
|Running around Marina Bay|
|Running thru the Helix|
|At Merlion Park|
|Fards and Ernie with the Marina BaySands at the background|
|Running towards the Esplanade|
So, we already got our race pack and we had a relaxing run. Are we now ready for tomorrow (December 4) , our very first marathon outside the Philippines? Will we be jumping up for joy Sunday lunchtime? Will my cramming time power me to an improved marathon finish? Will Ed break 6 hours for a marathon and do a 5:59? Will Ernie and Fards continue their streak of improving their full marathon time? Will we finish at all given this humid conditions? Que sera, sera...........
For now, we need to rest and sleep. And I am sleeping beside my race bib.
|Race bib, singlet, and freebies from the Sports Expo|