Athletics chief seeks status upgrade for Lagos City Marathon

The President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, says he expects a better record and an upgrade to silver label status when the Lagos City Marathon holds on Saturday, 2nd February, 2019.

The Lagos City Marathon which is in its 4th edition is an International Association of Athletics Federation, IAAf, bronze labelled race and if the conditions such as organisation and record times are met the race could be upgraded.

Alhaji Gusau is optimistic that the race will attain silver or gold label status with the level of planning that has gone into the event.

According to Gusau tomorrow the athletes will be running and we expect a better record and we will be hoping for a silver label. If some conditions are met tomorrow, automatically Lagos marathon will be labelled Gold or Silver.

World Class Races

The AFN president urged all states in the federation to emulate Lagos state in hosting world class races while calling for marathon races to be held at local government levels.

He said last year, there was a total of about 120,000 participants, for those that know marathons very well, Nigeria just came in just under 4 years and is competing with the London and Boston Marathons

In the 36 states in Nigeria I expect other states to be running a marathon I expect all the 774 local governments to be running a marathon to better improve athletes in the country Gusau added.

Gusau also urged the athletes to create new records so as to put the event on the IAAF record.

Paid Participation

The 2019 edition will be the last time athletes will be allowed to participate in the race for free as organisers say a participants will be charged a fee to take part in the race from next year.

The Marathon’s head of communications and media, Bukola Olopade said this was necessary to allow for better planning.

No fewer than 150,000 athletes both locally and internationally are expected to participate in the 4th edition of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon with most of the top runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, Uganda, Australia, USA and Poland gunning for the star prize of $50,000.

Among them are the winner of the 2011 Dubai Marathon, David Barmasai Tumo, Patrick Terer Kipkosgeui, Agnes Jeruto Kiptocich all from Kenya and 2018 winner, Ethiopian Herpa Almenesh Guta.

One of the participants, South African Cindy Nkomo, is a regular marathoner both back home and internationally, said she decided to participate in this year’s event to experience all she had heard about the race.

Nkomo said I run quite a few marathons at home, I also run international marathons. I have done Tokyo, Chicago, Berlin and when I heard about the Lagos City Marathon I thought why not. It’s in Africa, it’s ours and it looks like a very well organised marathon so in a space of like 6 days I got in contact with the organisers who assisted me to get my visa

I’m going to be running the 42km and will be in my South Africa colour and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, she added.

At the press briefing held on Friday 1st February at Sheraton Hotels in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigerian entertainers D’Banj and Teni the Entertainer were unveiled as the race ambassadors.

Source: Voice of Nigeria