The top Nigerian finishers at the 2017 edition of the Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon, Iliya Pam and Olude Fadekemi have both promised to do all within their reach to retain their number one positions in Saturdayâ€™s 2018 race.
While Pam has been training hard for the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon in Jos, Olude is in the national camp in Port Harcourt where she is simultaneously preparing for the Commonwealth Games and the Lagos Marathon.
Pam who finished ahead of all his compatriots with a time of 2hrs:23mins but ended in 17th position overall said he would raise the bar at the forthcoming event.
â€œI have been training hard for a long time and I am very happy with my shape, my goal for this yearâ€™s marathon is not just to finish as the number one Nigerian but to at least make it into the Top 10 overall.â€ Pam declared.
â€œI know it will be tougher this year but I am ready for the challenge as I look forward to run a good time to qualify for the Commonwealth Games,â€ Pam added.
On her part, Olude who shocked many to emerge as Nigeriaâ€™s first female runner with a time of 2hrs:16mins said she was raring to go for the race.
According to her, the increased prize monies is extra motivation for her not only repeat what she did last year but even do much more.
â€œThe N1m I won last year was quite helpful for me, now that it is N3m, I have been training even harder,â€ she revealed.
According to Olude, this edition of the competition would be tougher compared to last yearâ€™s race as many people who did not reckon with her now know what she can do.
â€œOf course, I expect the likes of Olamide, Deborah Pam to give me a tough fight but I know it will bring out the best in me,â€ she said.
As already announced, Saturdayâ€™s full marathon will start 6.30am at the National Stadium and end at Eko Atlantic City.
The 10Km road race will start at 8.30am at the Lekki end of Ikoyi-Lekki Bridge and also end at Eko Atlantic City