Bunmi Ogunyale

Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode believes Nigerian athletes have the qualities to win the 2019 Lagos Access Bank Marathon.

The governor said the necessary logistics would be put in place to ensure it’s ranked among the top 10 marathons in 2019, adding that with the success of the last three editions and efforts to make next year’s edition bigger, the Lagos City Marathon would achieve an IAAF Silver Label next year.

He said the prize money for next year’s race would remain the same as in 2018. The male and female winners of the 2019 Lagos City Marathon will go home with cash prizes of $50,000, while the second and third-place runners will win $40,000 and $30,000 – as was disbursed in 2018.

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Ambode said, “In the first edition of the marathon, we had less than 50,000 runners but by this year, we had over 120,000 runners in both the 42km and 10km races.

In 2019, we want to be the biggest race in the world and we are expecting nothing less than 150,000 runners in both races.

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“We also expect an increase in the number of elite runners from different parts of the world while the local elite athletes would also increase as the event becomes established in the athletics calendar across the world.

We want to achieve the IAAF Silver Label at the end of next year as we made history in becoming the first race in the world to have the IAAF Bronze Label in the first two years of its existence.

“We will pay more attention to the physically-challenged athletes and encourage more local participation to achieve the target.

Lagos is using sports as a vehicle to help develop our youths, to create mentally-balanced youths who will build the country.”

According to Head of Communications and Media for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Olukayode Thomas, the governor, as well as the other sponsors and partners, would be at the parley with the media practitioners.

Thomas also revealed that the Race Organizer and Chairman of Nilayo Sports Management Company, Bukola Olopade, and the race’s General Manager, Yussuf Alli will also unveil plans geared towards making the marathon one of the best road races in the world.