OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017 Review

by - March 26, 2017

For those of you who woke up the morning of Sunday March 26 and saw a group of people in white tees flooding the streets and MRT stations around Promenade to East Coast Park - know that you missed out on the best night marathon of 2017.

I signed up last year as a volunteer and had a lot of fun so I decided to drag a few of my friends along and volunteer as a team in 2017. When you're signing up, the organizers allow you to team up with your own friends instead of pairing you with random strangers and that adds to the fun.

All you have to do is pull an all-nighter from 5.00 pm to 9.00 am, do what they tell you to do, survive, and get $30 at the end of the day. Simple, right?

Hence my OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017 experience begins.

In case you didn't already know, the OSIM Sundown Marathon in Singapore is the 10th edition of Asia's largest night run. With their motto 'Sleep Can Wait', the Sundown Marathon challenges their runners to sacrifice sleep, run through the night and beat the sunrise.

This year's Sundown Marathon was held on the 25th to 26th of March at the F1 Pit Building and welcomed 27,000 runners. Volunteers were supposed to report to the F1 Pit Building at 5.00 pm, but from last year's experience I know that going early is a waste of time. After registering, all you do is sit around for 1-2 hours until your ICs gather you and send you off to your station. My friends and I decided to go half an hour later and of course, even then we did nothing for the next 2 hours.

One thing to note is if you're planning to report early, do keep in mind to prepare 3 hours worth of snacks and card games. There are multiple charging ports and free Wifi at the F1 Pit Building, so I suggest that you take advantage of it because after you leave that area, you won't even have a place to piss in peace.

Initially, my friends and I were assigned under the Athlete Welfare Department, which is a sort of cheerleading department where volunteers stand at the side of the road and shout words of encouragement to athletes who run past.

Since my friend and I was under the Hydration/ Water Station Department last year and we had a lot of fun there, we used connections to swap us out of Athlete Welfare. All was going to be well from now on. Or so we thought.

First of all, we were stationed at Kallang Riverside Park unlike last year which was at East Coast Park. The place we were at were full of bugs and much smaller with no proper place to put our bags. There were no food outlets nearby expect for a bar, and we had to walk 8-10 minutes to the nearest toilet at a 24-hour Kopitiam.

It also turns out that the management was super horrible (come on, we snuck 7 people out of our department into another without anyone knowing), and they forgot to call us in for briefing for our initial department. We didn't even get to have dinner before we set out!

The worst thing about swapping departments was that we were paired up with with the most obnoxious group of teenagers I have ever met. There were about 15 of these wild animals who thought that volunteering at the Marathon was some sort of class gathering with free CIP points.

I know secondary school kids are immature and ignorant, but this group of kids took immature and ignorance to the next level. They are not only racist, but a bunch of pervs who delighted in watching women athletes in sport bras run past and calling them 'babe'. If the runners were foreigners, they called them 'ang moh' in their face. They even mimicked the accent of foreigners from China and mocked them when they ran past.

Like, seriously bruh???

In every obnoxious group there will be an obnoxious leader, and this group had their own Kim Jong Un. This imbecile had a massive vocabulary of cuss words but such limited general knowledge that he didn't know Ice Mountain water is manufactured in Malaysia. He was so annoying to the point that one of the crew members had to tell him to shut up (of course in a much ruder way) because he was being rude to the extend that it was offensive.

Of course Kim Jong Un never backs from a fight and the two of them were literally shouting at each other over the tables.

This product of failed parenting also went around asking what poly we were from, and went on to tell everyone else that he hated Temasek Poly because my friend studies there.

There were also about four 16 year old couples in our team, which meant that eight people were already not going to do any work. Besides just holding hands, hugging, spooning, hair caressing, butt touching and expressing gross amounts of PDA, these eight people literally did nothing the whole night.

It didn't help especially when there was a huge wave of exhausted and thirsty athletes rushing to hydrate themselves at our station and we were understaff because there would be 2 pairs eloping somewhere behind the bushes.

The future leaders of Singapore, everybody.

Besides horrible team mates, we also met a number of very rude athletes.

Remember when I said management was horrible? There was a mistake when we were told to serve water to the 10 km runners, though our station wasn't supposed to be catered to them. This meant that we wasted a lot of water and paper cups on runners we weren't even supposed to be serving in the first place. We had to temporarily close the station in order to have enough water supply for the 21 km and 42 km runners.

There was a lot of shouting and angry phone calls during this period, all of which I thought were pretty unprofessional because the ICs were doing it in front of the volunteers.

So moving on, it's understandable that people get cranky when they are tired or sleep deprived, but there was this one particular athlete who made me want to smack some sense into him. He came up to one of the crew asking for a cup of water, though the station was already closed. When the crew told him that we had stopped serving and there was another hydration point further down, he flared and demanded that we give him water.

The crew didn't want to disobey orders so he called out IC to attend to him. Our IC apologized and told him the same thing the crew said - we can't serve water now, there's another hydration point further down.

And guess what the guy did? He took the bottle he was holding (so you have water, eh?) and splashed it at our IC!

Water is up by 30% bruh, and I really don't think you should waste it like that. If you had water enough to throw at someone why not use it to sustain yourself till the next station?

If I were the crew I would have just served him the water, to be honest. But that guy was just one impatient brat.

It was also a bummer that we only could serve plain water and no isotonic drinks, which the runners gave us a hard time for. Most of them came up to us asking for 100 Plus, and when we said we only had plain water, they would start cussing and throwing their hands up in the air. Like, hello? We're only doing what we're told. And we're not Jesus. NO ONE HERE HAS THE ABILITY TO TURN YOUR WATER INTO WINE 100 PLUS.


I actually suspect that the organizers had the budget cut in half due to Singapore's bad economy. Last year, the athletes were given an abundant supply of bananas which we had to throw away at the end of the day because we had too much, and they were also more than enough water to serve each and every person present at the marathon - including volunteers.

Despite the ordeal, my friends and I managed to pull though and we even had a pretty good time ourselves because we were having fun and bonded with each other. Being part of the Water Station crew was not a disappointment at all; though we did have useless teammates but still we managed to do an awesome job.

At the end of the day, we were also paid $35, which was $5 higher than last year's pay. So I guess the budget for the bananas were spent on a more meaningful purpose.

Though I would say this year's Sundown Marathon wasn't the best for me, I'm sure everyone else including the runners had a really great night. However I do suggest that the management vett the people they choose as volunteers the next time round for manpower to be more efficient. Please if you may, increase the age limit for volunteering.

Sorry not sorry.

Love this post? Feel free to share and comment below or check out my Haw Par Villa experience here.

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