Some of the world’s top marathoners as well as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President, Lord Sebastian Coe are expected to participate at the maiden edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon scheduled for February 6, 2016.
At the world press conference held at the Access Bank Corporate Headquarters on Friday (11 December), the organisers reeled out modalities for the Marathon which among other things is targeted at reviving a healthy life style among Nigerians whilst showcasing major sights in the city of Lagos.
The chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Ayodeji Tinubu pledged the unwavering support of the government while appreciating the efforts of Access Bank in bankrolling the event.
Tinubu revealed that a lot of work has already gone into making the event a success as this will be the first time in a long while that a full marathon would be held in the city and indeed Nigeria.
He also stated that the world’s top athletes in the marathon have already indicated their interest in participating in the 42km race.
Executive director, Personal Banking at Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu announced that cash prizes will be won at the epoch making event, with the winners of both men and women’s events expected to go home with $50,000 each, while second and third place finishers will take $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.
The top 20 Nigerians will also be rewarded win cash prizes starting from N1 million, while the second and third positions will settle for N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
"When the idea came up that Lagos was planning to host a marathon which had been endorsed by the IAAF and Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), we felt we should support this initiative," said Etuokwu.
“Major cities in the world host marathons, which help to showcase the city. We will also do our best to bring in other top sponsors cutting across other industries including telecoms and construction.
"We believe in the goal of the government, so I don’t think this event is going to be a one-off.
The race will kick off from the National Stadium in Surulere, en route Ojota, the Third Mainland Bridge, Ikoyi Bridge and Lekki Toll Gate, before culminating at the Eko Atlantic City.
Present at Friday’s briefing was the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President, Chief Solomon Ogba who highlighted the gains accrued from staging the marathon race and assured that it will not be a one-off.
On his part, the Project Consultant and CEO of Nilayo Sports Management Limited Hon. Bukola Olopade assured that the necessary logistics needed to make the marathon be among the best right from its maiden edition are thoughtfully been carried out.
Organisers assured that regular information as regards the marathon race will be available on a dedicated portal: lagoscitymarathon.com.