By Ben Efe

This morning over 80,000 runners will take over the streets of Lagos searching for athletics glory and fun as the second edition of the Access Bank/ Lagos City Marathon comes alive.

Lagos is aiming to create a marathon that will be in the world top ten bracket of races. With the active involvement of the Lagos State Governor, Akinwummi Ambode, it will be interesting to see how it goes.

The maiden edition in 2016, left much to be desired, but organising committee officials have promised to do a better job, which will make participants and spectators feel proud to have taken part in the event

“Last year was a rushed job. It took us only a couple of weeks to plan, whereas you need to work a whole calendar year to put this kind of race together,” said Bukola Olapade who is a consultant to the Access Bank/ Lagos City marathon.

“But we have worked out every detail this year. Governor, Ambode has ensured that all the logistics are in place and what remains is to put up a good show.

“This year marks the silver jubilee of Lagos State, and the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is one of the events lined up to celebrate the anniversary. It is going to be a big event, and people from far and near, including volunteers from the United States of America and the United Kingdom are in town to witness the occasion”, he added.

The 42km race will start at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos and terminate at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island. A good list of world elite runners registered to contest for the $50,000 dollars top prize on offer in the men and women categories. One of such is Abraham Kiptum of Kenya, who won the maiden edition. Local Nigerian elite runners will also test their might with the intention of breaking into the list of top finishers. They have been assured of their own separate prize money, since they cannot cope with the pace of the East African runners.

Race manager, Yusuf Alli disclosed measures have been taken to ensure an orderly conduct of runners. He added that motorists have also been put on notice to avoid the roads, in order not to create chaos during the course of the race.

“We have put everything in place to deliver a hitch-free marathon. The medics, security personnel and technical officials have been well briefed, and we expect things to turn out well,” said the former African long jump champion.


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