The Sundown Marathon in Singapore is one of the most unique road races in the world. Instead of running early in the day or in the heat of the afternoon, runners will leave the start line just before midnight and run through the night.
Although the scenery will be obscured by darkness, runners will know they are getting close to the finish when the Singapore Flyer comes into sight. The Ferris wheel, which is the highest observation wheel in the world (until three others are completed), marks the end of the 26.2-mile journey.
Other events on tap for the event include a half marathon, a 10-kilometer race and a team 10-kilometer race. All of them take place at night. Knowing that, let's take a look at all the key details for one of Singapore's main sporting showcases.
Where: F1 Pit Building to Singapore Flyer in Singapore
When: Saturday, June 1 at 11:30 a.m. ET
Start Time and Other Events
Half marathon – May 31 at 11:30 a.m. ET
10 kilometers – May 31 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Team 10 kilometers – May 31 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Full marathon – June 1 at 11:30 a.m. ET
All times are courtesy of the races' official site and converted to Eastern time (12-hour difference).
Route Map and Course Info
The race begins outside the F1 Pit Building just before midnight. The runners will pass by several sports landmarks in the country, including the nation's indoor stadium, ski park and sailing center, as well as several parks. It then finishes by the iconic Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel.
Weather (via Weather Channel)
Rain is possible on both days of the event. The forecast is for scattered thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday with highs near 90 and lows in the upper 70s, which means the night aspect of the race will only provide limited relief from the heat.
Winds are expected to be light. The chance for rain is 60 percent each day. High humidity levels are another issue runners will likely be forced to deal with. In other words, it doesn't sound like perfect racing conditions are in store for the athletes.
The Sundown Marathon is about the experience. Of course, there are runners who will set out to win the race. But there are also plenty of people who will be taking part simply to enjoy the special opportunity to run under the moon instead of the sun.
Making it a night race was a brilliant move by the organizers in Singapore. There are so many marathons around the globe that it's important to stand out in order to attract runners. They accomplished that. It helped the race expand as it heads toward its sixth year.
The top finishers will receive crystal trophies and cash prizes, according to the race site. It adds extra incentive, but most runners will gladly accept the chance to run in the unique marathon as their prize. That's why the event should continue to grow in the coming years.