This year, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) was revamped by the organisers to meet the stringent requirements of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM). From a single-day event, SSSCM morphed into a 3-day monstrosity, kicking off on the evening of 29 November.
With the change, the organisers aimed to place SCSM alongside other premier marathon events such as the Boston, New York, Tokyo, and London marathons.
As was the case, with the F1 weekend in Singapore, not eveyone was too thrilled by the mega show in in the down town area. It did not help that this weekend just past also saw U2 in concert at the National Stadium, the start of Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay, and the C3 Anime Festival Asia (AFA).
One netizen named Selwyn Koh was particularly incensed, prompting him to take to his Facebook to rant at the organisers of SCSM, urging them exercise some compassion by never organising a Saturday evening race again.
One look at the full listing of roads that are scheduled to be closed and anyone with a brain will know that it’s going to be a disaster.
You clog up the entire Singapore with the worst jam of the decade bringing traffic islandwide to a complete standstill, no thanks to your road closures on a Saturday evening, no less.
Simply put, you cannot simply close roads to make way for a run on a Saturday evening, because it affects a lot of people – many of whom are working.
To my friend who spent close to 4 full hours in a jam travelling from Sentosa to Fullerton Hotel, I feel for you. To my other friend who had to wheel her harp down Nicoll Highway while rushing for a performance, I feel for you. To another friend who was stuck in a taxi with a full bladder only to reach her destination with a $55 fare, I feel for you. To the lady in a lovely gown who was a wedding organiser at a wedding I attended last evening and had no choice but to park somewhere else while making a dash to the hotel with bags of wedding photo albums in tow, I feel for you. To all my friends who were affected by the road closures with every other person posting on social media, I really do feel for you. I was caught in the dreaded jam too.
It was awful for those who were stuck in traffic jams caused by SCSM.
This was a commercial decision that did not fully take into account the impact on the general public. What is the point of being categorised in AbbottWMM? How will it improve Singapore and the lives of many Singaporeans who did not take part in the race?
Despite the inconveniences, those affected know that they will not likely get any compensation from the organisers.
The relevant authorities should look into such big events and ensure that profit-driven organsiers do not profit at the expense of Singaporeans.