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Line for StanChart Marathon starts early

S$1 registration for the first 100 in line attracts early bird runners, who started queuing up more than 24 hours before registration opened.

SINGAPORE: Some queued for the S$1 sign-up fee, while others took the chance to meet and trade marathon tips with other runners.

But whatever their reasons, the first 100 in line to register for the Standard Chartered 2014 marathon at 11am on Wednesday (July 16) managed to do so at the special price of S$1. The usual price for an adult to participate starts from S$50.

More than 800 runners turned up at ION Orchard. Some queued for more than 24 hours before registration opened. First in line was marathon charity icon Gerrard Lim, 31, better known as "Ah Siao", who famously completed his first Standard Chartered Full Marathon in 2012 with a tyre tied around his waist to raise awareness for the Bone Marrow Donor Programme. He will be "tyre-less" for the run this time around, but brought the prop, which he affectionately refers to as "Ah Lian Chanel No. 69" to keep him company overnight.

"I have never won anything in my life before so I decided to do something worthwhile and be number one in the queue," he said.

Republic Polytechnic student Venice Ng, 20, also said she wanted to take a shot at being first in line.

For their efforts, they received a pair of running shoes each. The first 100 in line got to register for the marathon for S$1, while the next 500 received a premium goodie bag.

There are three categories of sign-ups – Priority+, Priority and Normal. Organisers said Priority+ spots have already been sold out online, though some have been reserved for sale at five Running Community Roadshows held across the different geographical zones in Singapore (North, West, North East, East and Central). These roadshows are in line with this year’s move from the CBD area to become a more community affair.

Representing each of these communities are ambassadors, like Paralympian Theresa Goh, whose role is to rally and inspire more to join the run.

"You want to make sure that everybody feels involved in the sporting community, and you want to reach out to as many people as possible," said Ms Goh.

"I think this year the ambassadors all represent different groups of people in Singapore, and I think it's a very good approach for such a big run."

Those queuing at ION on Wednesday need not fear – 1,250 places have also been reserved for them.

This year’s marathon takes place on Dec 7, with the proposed running route to be announced in the coming weeks.

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