The Promoter of Okpekpe 10km International Road Race, Mike Itemuagbor, has congratulated Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and Access Bank for successfully hosting the second edition of the Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon last Saturday in Lagos.
“I congratulate Governor Ambode for promising and delivering a world class marathon and Access Bank for sponsoring the event,” began Itemuagbor whose race, the Okpekpe 10km International Road Race is the first and so far only road race in Nigeria to get an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) label.
“I am particularly delighted that the second edition of the Lagos Marathon was a remarkable improvement on the first edition and hopes subsequent editions would even be much better, ” he further said and harped on the health implications of running.
“Health they say is wealth. A healthy nation will definitely be productive and by extension prosperous. And experts have not ceased to emphasise on the benefits of exercising to the body. “By organising this marathon, the governor is not only promoting sports and tourism in Lagos State but also ensuring he governs over a healthy community of people,” stressed the race promoter.
Itemuagbor also hopes governor Ambode will strive to take the marathon to the next level by making it the first full marathon in West Africa to get an IAAF label. “That will make Nigeria the only country in Africa to have two IAAF label races. With the conclusion of the second edition of the Lagos Marathon, organisers of the event can apply for a bronze label for the race and I am confident their application will be favourably considered,” said Itemuagbor whose race is also a full member of Association of International Marathon and Road Races (AIMS), an organisation comprising of over 400 road races in over 100 countries in the world.
Meanwhile, the fifth Okpekpe 10km International Road Race will hold on Saturday, May 13 in Okpekpe in Edo State.
The race is one of the very few in the world to have developed a tracking application for athletes competing in the race which will make it easy for friends and family members to track the performance of their friends and loved ones wherever they are in the world.
Kenyans swept all the top spots of the male and female category of the Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon. Abraham Kiptum who won the maiden edition last year successfully defended his title in 2hrs.15 mins : 20 secs to leave his compatriots, Ronny Kiboss (2 hrs 15mins 25 secs) and Kiprotich Kiroi (2hrs 15mins 30secs) for the second and third spots.
Kiptum smiled away from Lagos with the grand prize of $50,000 while the second and third place winners got $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.
The first Nigerian male runner to reach the finish line Philibus Sharubutu got N1million for his effort.