Thursday, February 11, 2010

There will be TWO Singapore Marathons this year

I started to take an interest in running; and 1 of my resolution is to run a marathon this year.

This is why this particular news caught my ear on radio this morning; It was on the radio and newspapers today. Apparently there will be 2 marathon on the same day 5th December this year; 1 organised by Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and the other by Singapore Atheletics Association (SAA).

It is an interesting piece of news to me, not only because I want to join a marathon this year, but because it also bears a very similar resemblance to another issue close to my heart.

You can read below (I copied and paste for you) or check out this link:


There will be TWO Singapore Marathons this year

Yes you heard me right, one marathon will be organised by SSC (Singapore Sport Council), while the other by SAA (Singapore Athletics Association).

Well for those not in the loop, there’s a SSC vs SAA tussle, and it all slowly started last year as the rift between the council and association began.

And now it has come to this. Last year SSC announced it will not renew their partnership agreement for the Singapore Marathon.

With the split SAA is at the losing end, as previously they earned close to $1.6 million over the last two years being the event rights holder.

Since SAA holds the commercial rights to “Singapore Marathon” name, that means SSC had to rename their own marathon if they want to organise their own run, thus the brand new spanking “Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore”.

The previous joint marathon by SAA and SSC was named “Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon” by the way.

Not much of a name difference right?

I’m sure this will be confusing for those who are not into the gutter ‘politics’ of local athletics, but this is just one of the many turn of events that has transpired within the last year or so.

The root of the problem goes way way back of course, issues started to pile-up, and has come to a boiling point this year with the spat visibly online in the media.

I don’t know the status of SAA’s own marathon, and if they have found any sponsors yet, but SSC’s marathon is in the swing of things it seems.

They are upbeat and am confident to draw some 60,000 runners this year. The SSC’s marathon will be held on 5th December.

I’m sure SAA have yet to update their calendar for 2010, while referring to their online athletics calendar, SAA’s marathon is planned for 5th December too.

If it is indeed there’s two marathons on 5th December, then runners will be hard-pressed to choose either two.

Furthermore I did some online digging and the domain is owned by “Prime Media Singapore“. That domain is an online prime real-estate, and I’m not sure if it’s SSC or SAA who owns the domain.

Whoever owns the domain, half the battle is won itself, as people in Singapore are used to registering and referring to the site to find information regarding the Singapore Marathon.

Plus it ranks high on search-engines for the keyword “Singapore Marathon”, essential in getting international hits and potential registrants from all over the world.

The important question now is of course which marathon will you join.
I’m sure the timing needs to be right for the organisers to grab hold as many participants to cover their cost.

Despite having two local marathons, who would want to run two marathons in a short span of time successive after another.

It’s like the Olympics, can you remember the silver medalist at last year’s 100m men’s event in Beijing. No right, but we all remembered Usain Bolt.

The same analogy applies to the upcoming two marathons in Singapore, which one will be the ultimate gold winner, and the other the forgotten one.

Personally I would pick SSC’s “Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore”.


Now SSC has the support and sponsorship of Standard Chartered Bank, while SAA has nothing yet. It seems straight forward choice to me if I had to choose 1 between the 2 to join. I would definetely go for the 1 with better backing, better prestige, better reputation, better trustworthiness and better organized. Do I even have to spell out which 1 it is?

P.S: Never mess around with any .gov body.

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