It's 11pm and while most people are either thinking of heading out for a pint of beer or going to bed, a bunch of joggers decide to hit the pavement and onto the deserted roads. Sounds crazy? Now think of 12,000 like-minded people doing the same thing.
Organised by the same people who bring the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore Triathlon, the annual Sundown Marathon provides an alternative for night owls who are into competitive running. Feeling the evening wind your hair, the heightened awareness of pace of your feet across the pavement and reaching the end of the line in time for the sunrise can be extremely rewarding for running enthusiasts.
The Sundown Marathon is Asia's only mass night running event. Organisers of the Sundown Marathon, HiVelocity, have made the bold decision of splitting the Sundown into two separate races, the Sundown Marathon and the Sundown Ultra Marathon, to present a unique and enjoyable challenge to runners of different abilities and experience.
Usually held around March/May, the marathon constantly changes venue to keep things fresh and new for its participants.
In conjunction with encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyles, organiser HiVelocity created the Sundown Festival Village serving food and beverages for participants to attract more non-racers to pick up the sport. The Sundown Marathon attracted 10,670 athletes from all over the world in 2009. A total of 25,000 participants have signed up for all the categories so far for 2011's Sundown, beating 2010’s total of 19,500.
Five different races happen at the same night at various timings depending on one's comfort and fitness level - namely the Ultra Marathon (84.39 km), the marathon (42.195 km), the Men (10km), the Women (10 km) and the Team/Corporate Challenge (10 km x 4 runners). In introducing the new 10km category for men, the Sundown 2011 event the only “dusk to dawn” race in the world to provide a full suite of race categories from 10km to 42km for both sexes. Besides the Ultra Marathon, all races starts at different time on the same night. Pacers going at different speeds are also available throughout the race.
Tickets are priced at S$36 - S$200 (differing by categories, with an early bird special offered. Participants must be 18 years on the date of the run itself. (See website for more information.)