Organisers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have confirmed that 81 elite runners from across the world will participate in the ninth edition of the race, which flags off tomorrow at the National Stadium, Surulere.
According to the General Manager of the race, Yusuf Alli, among the over 81 elite runners are 29 gold-label women stars, which makes for a rich and world-class running field with the potential of unearthing a new course record tomorrow morning.
Alli, who held the African men’s long jump record for 27 years, noted that the confirmation of the strong field is positive for the race, especially as the organisers are preparing for the 10th edition of the race with the hope of uplifting it from its current gold label status to the platinum.
“Our target is to ensure that our registered world-class elite runners help propel the Lagos City Marathon to the Platinum Label. This is possible with the calibre of runners that will be on the field on February 10.”
If we can produce five elite runners crossing the finish line in two hours and eight minutes, we shall climb to the Platinum Label.
“Among the elite runners in the race are a former world record holder, Demis Kipmeto with two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds, and Kelkile Gezahegan (Ethiopia), who has done two hours five minutes and 56 seconds; Kiptoo Edwin (two hours, six minutes and 52 seconds) and female runners like Valary Jemeli (Kenya, two hours 19 minutes, there is a huge possibility that the status of the Lagos City Marathon will change at the end of this race.”
Alli disclosed that the ninth Lagos City Marathon will be used to select qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, adding that the race will be a great race by all standards, with the air quality control and other requirements to be handled by World Athletics as it is done in top world class marathon races across the world.
Explaining more on the composition of the runners, Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, the owners of the Lagos City Marathon, Bukola Olopade, said the United Nations has confirmed the participation of 15 refugee runners for the marathon.