150,000 Athletes For 2019 Lagos City Marathon

Lagos State Governor AkinwunmiAmbode has said the fourth edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which is scheduled for February 2, 2019, is expected to feature more than 150,000 athletes across the world.

Ambode, who spoke at a press conference at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Monday, said the 2019 edition of the race is targeted at setting new world records.

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.

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.

“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.”

Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, who are the major sponsors of the event, Herbert Wigwe, expressed optimism that the 2019 race would be bigger and better.

He said Access Bank was glad to partner with Lagos State, noting that the success of the 2018 edition did not only showcase Lagos as an avenue for sports development, but also for the growth of tourism and youth development.