Lagos expects 150,000 runners at 2019 Access Bank marathon

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (middle) presenting a cheque of $50,000 prize money to Kenyan-born French runner, Abraham Kiprotich at the end of the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon… February 2018. With them is Sports Minister Solomon Dalung

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has disclosed that more than 150, 000 runners will participate in the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which he described as a dream that will never die. The race will hold on February 2, 2019.

Speaking in his office yesterday, Ambode promised to invest more in the event, which he sees as an avenue to empower the youths.

Ambode said, “We will continue to push more money into the event, especially towards the local athletes and the p— =hysically challenged ones.”

Predicting that the 2019 edition would surpass all previous editions of the marathon race, Ambode said: “Over 120,000 athletes participated in last year’s edition, but I expect that the 2019 edition should attract over 150,000 participants.

We will continue to make history with the Access Bank Lagos City marathon.”

He praised the organisers of the event, particularly the chairman of Nilayo Sports Management Company, Bukola Olopade, whose initiative gave birth to the Access Bank Lagos City marathon in 2015. “Olopade is a good marketer. He can sell anything.

He came to my office holding a piece of paper, and after he spoke for just five minutes, I was totally convinced, and that was the beginning of the journey in 2015. I must commend his effort.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, assured that the Lagos City marathon had come to stay. He urged the organisers to do everything possible to make sure that the 2019 edition of the marathon gets the IAAF silver label.

Also speaking at the event, the chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Kweku Tandoh revealed that the government had approved the establishment of a Marathon Village to be built inside the Teslim Balogun Stadium, adding that a marathon council had also been put in place to supervise all the marathon races within the state. “Very soon, we will have a marathon race in Epe and Ikorodu.”

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