Gov. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says 30 Gold Label Runners and 25 Silver Label Runners have been invited as elite runners for 2020 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon on Feb. 8, 2020.
The governor, represented by the Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr Shola Ayekpekun, said this on Wednesday during a press conference to unveil plans for the 5th edition of the annual international race.
Sanwo-Olu said the 2020 edition would have elite runners from Peru and Australia, adding that as silver label race, the state would remeasure and recalibrate the routes.
According to him, the next targets of the state are IAAF Gold Label and the IAAF Platinum Label.
The governor said that hundreds of foreigners from Europe, America and Asia had interest in the 2020 race.
“We are introducing bonus for excellent performance. For example, running 2.10 in the men’s race will attract a special bonus.
“In terms of numbers, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has achieved a record number of starters.
“In 2016, we had over 50,000. In 2017 edition, they were over 73,000. We had over 100,000 starters each in 2018 and 2019.
“From the 2020 edition, runners will pay N5, 000 to participate in the race. This is to ensure that our marathon conforms to other elite and labelled marathons around the world,” he said.
The governor said that the race was a qualifying event for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon, adding that the number one personality in the Road Races and Marathons, Alessio Punzi of IAAF, and other top officials would be in attendance.
Sanwo-Olu encouraged Nigerians, particularly Lagos residents to participate in the race, assuring them that two cars would be given to the first male and female runners in the 10km race.
Access Bank’s Head of Corporate Communication, Mr Amechi Okomi, said the bank was glad that the marathon had risen to Silver Label.
He said that the bank always supported events that would have positive impacts on the people.
Okomi said the bank’s main reason of supporting Lagos Marathon was to change the narrative about Nigeria to reflect that good things capable of attracting global recognition could actually happen in the country.
He encouraged Nigerians interested in the race to start training without delay to be able to make positive impacts.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that others sponsors present at briefing included 7up, KIA Motors and Bet9ja. (NAN)