Over two thousand international Elite athletes from across the world have registered for the Gold-Label Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, setting a record of entries for any Marathon race on the continent of Africa.
The General Manager of the race, Yusuf Alli, said at the weekend that: “The Elite entries would have been more, if the organisers had not regulated it to a barest size over a week ago. Towards effective and efficient management of the race. The large size was expected at it’s one of the effects of a Gold-Label race. And Nilayo Sports Management is ready for it.”
Yusuf, revealed that, majority of the Elite athletes are from Europe, East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Asia and South America.
“And out of the pool of registered international Elite athletes, the organisers have officially invited 47 male and 29 female world class athletes that will lead the bunch of first class athletes in the race. While the rest will compete to chase the Gold-Label status as they continue in their quest to garner requisite international points to attain first-class Elite status as they grow professionally.”
He noted that; “The Lagos City Marathon’s quest to attain to the Platinum Label race status, which is uppermost in the desires of the organisers, Nilayo Sports Management Ltd, will be boosted if two male Elite athletes can finish the race under 2 hours 10minutes and three female athletes finish under 2 hours 12 minutes.”
Yusuf, a former African record holder in the Long Jump, noted that, for the 8th edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Gold-Label race, the athletes would have their running numbers in front and their names at the back of their competition jerseys.
“And to avoid any form of controversy, as clearly stipulated by World Athletics, there will be the photo finish device at the finish line of the race at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the first ever Gold-Label race in Nigeria, the Expo for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will begin this morning at the Teslim Balogun, Surulere.
The Expo would see :registered runners pick up their running kits and numbers. The organisers will also have series of exhibitions towards the success of the Gold-Label race. Health talks and several other events geared towards the successful organisation of the race.
The Expo will run from today January 23 to February 2, two days to the race on February 4. The start line for the Gold-Label Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has been slated for the National Stadium, Surulere, for the full Marathon.
There will also be the 10km race, which for the first time in Nigeria would see Elite athletes compete, as the organisers will be using the race to apply for a Gold-Label race status for 10km.