The General Manager of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, one of the biggest marathon races in Africa, Yusuf Alli, has disclosed that: “for the 9th edition of the race, in February 2024, will be hosting more runners in the 42km and 10km races.”
He said at the weekend in Lagos that, the last time the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon hosted a large number of runners was before the outbreak of the Covid 19 virus in 2019.
“For the 9th edition which comes up next year February, the organisers of the race, Nilayo Sports Management, is determined to host a large number of runners while accommodating those Nigerians and foreign runners who are very eager to participate in both the 42km and the 10km races.
“We are ready for this and we are going to do it in a big way, with all the trapplings of the regulations of World Athletics, especially as the Lagos City Marathon is a Gold Label Elite Marathon.
“Don’t forget that the last time we had a very large number of runners was in 2019, when we had the Silver Label Race, but now that we have the Elite Label race. The stakes are higher and we shall do everything differently. So, we are looking forward to the 9th edition of the race in February 2024.
“And don’t forget, the decision to have more runners, which means a vast increase in the number of participants will be registered in both the 42kg and 10kg races.”
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The General Manager noted that, the organisers of the biggest marathon races in Africa, Nilayo Sports Management Limited, decided to increase the number of runners because of the huge requests made by local and international runners who believed the Covid 19 statutory restriction policies in line with the World Athletics and International Olympic Committee regulations in 2019, had stopped them from participating in the marathon. But today, the coast is clear and they can participate.
Alli, revealed that the World Athletics and Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) are excited that the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will by next year return to having a larger number of runners for full race.
Alli added that, with the commitment of the organisers, Nilayo Sports Management Ltd, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon remains the first race to win a World Athletics Bronze Label in Africa after just two editions and the first in the world to win the prestigious Silver Label after four editions.
“Last year, World Athletics gave us the Elite Road Race Label,which today has made us one of the most sought after Elite Label races in the world. And in terms of prize money, we rank among the top 10 in the world and in the number of participants, we are top five in the world.
A Kenyan, Edwin Kibet Koech, won the eighth edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon 2023 tagged “Push the Limit” at a time of 2hours 14 minutes 6seconds. He went home with a cash prize of $50,000. While Ethiopia’s Alemenseh Guta won the women’s race for the second time, the first in 2018, at a time 2:40:42.