Access Bank Lagos City Marathon
Still about two months before it second edition, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is generating passionate interest among elite marathoners worldwide.
For the 2017 edition slated for February 11 about 125 elite athletes have applied to be invited to participate but General Manager, Marathon, Yussuf Alli, insisted yesterday only 60 slots are available for foreign elite athletes. 100 elites Nigerian marathoners will be invited for this edition.
“We are expecting 50,000 participants this year, so we welcome runners from all parts of the world but we shall cover travel expenses and accommodation of only 160 elite athletes, 60 elite athletes from different parts of the world and 100 Nigeria elite athletes based at home and abroad’’.
Alli reconfirmed that Kenyan Daniel Kinyua currently ranked among the top ten in the world will be in Lagos. With personal best of 2:05:21, he won the 2016 Amsterdam Marathon. Kenya’s Sammy Kitwaic bronze medalist at the World Half Marathon, who ran 2:04:28 at 2014 Chicago Marathon and 2:05:45 Amsterdam Marathon in 2016 is equally confirmed for Lagos.
Marius Kimutai also from Kenya with a 2:05:47 at 2016 Amsterdam Marathon 2016 and Ethiopian Siraj Gena, winners of 2016 Buenos Aires Marathon October 2016, 2010 Rome Marathon and 2013 Istanbul Marathon are also coming to Lagos.
The female field is equally strong according to Alli. Confirmed for Lagos are elites like Ethiopian Mamitu Dasic, Alice Timbili, Haliem Hussan Beriso and Emily Chekemoi Samoe of Kenya winner of 2013 Barcelona International Marathon and 2015 1st Xiamen International Marathon, Taiwan.
The former Team Nigeria captain whose national longer record remains unbroken in more than three decades also hinted that elites athletes from 13 countries have confirmed to participate in the 2017 race.
“ Our projection is 50,000 runners but the response has been tremendous. So far, we have distributed over 40,000 forms physical and the response online has been great. At the end of the day, the number of runners that may turn out on February 11 may be over our projection’’ said Alli.