Duro Ikhazuagbe
The first male and female Nigerian athletes to breast the tape at the first edition of the Lagos City Marathon held on February 6, Sharubutu Philibus and Dinatu Yohanna have been selected to represent the country at the Paris Marathon scheduled to hold on April 3 courtesy Schneider Electric.

Philibus, 27, from Nassarawa and Kaduna-based Dinatu Yohanna, 26, were yesterday presented with replica of their running bibs by Schneider Electric’s Field Marketing Director, Anne Eze, at a brief ceremony at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
The Paris Marathon, one of the biggest road races in the world, is in its 40th edition. The 42.195km scenic race; will take the marathoners through the beautiful city, passing many iconic sights of Paris.

Speaking at the ceremony Eze said: “We are excited to support and sponsor two Nigerian athletes to this year’s Paris Marathon because the experience will further motivate our athletes and spur them to greater achievements. The Schneider Electric Paris Marathon provides the perfect opportunity to link our brand to the spirit and values embodied by the timeless challenge of the marathon, but with a focus on the people, the technologies, and the ability to do things differently.”

She further said that the Paris Marathon which Schneider Electric is the headline sponsor resonates with the company’s 2016 global theme ‘Life is On’, which encapsulates the vibrant human energy directed towards life either at work or play.
“We think access to energy is a fundamental right for everyone on our planet and we engineer solutions to make energy safe, reliable, efficient, sustainable, and connected. In a lot of ways, marathons connect people from all places.”

Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission and head of the organising committee for the Lagos City Marathon, Deji Tinubu, commended the efforts of Schneider Electric.

In his words, “it is laudable that a company like Schneider Electric remains committed towards the development of Nigerians in the power industry and now in sports. We would sincerely appreciate if more companies like Schneider Electric partner with us on such projects,” he noted.

President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba, hailed Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos for his enthusiasm in backing the staging of the Lagos City Marathon, which was supported by Access Bank.

“The marathon has opened a new vista. Long distance racing was a way of life in the 1960s and the ’70s. Lagos is only spear-heading a resurgence of what has been a part of the country in the past.’’

According to Ogba, marathon existed in the past as a cross country race, usually held at weekends and also in the secondary schools.
“We at AFN have decided to endorse the Lagos marathon as a full marathon — indeed the flagship — while cities like Uyo, Port Harcourt, Bauchi and Warri, itching to stage such an event, will be restricted to between half marathon, 10 to 15 kilometre races,” stress the AFN chief.