*We want to encourage runners in Nigeria
Elite athletes and road runners not resident in Nigeria are not eligible to participate in the 10th February, 2018 Access Bank Lagos Marathon 10-kilometre race which starts at the foot of the Ikoyi-Lekki link Bridge and ends at Eko Atlantic City.
Olukayode Thomas, Director Communications and Media, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, said the decision was aimed at encouraging Nigerians in the event.
Thomas said: “At the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon press conference where the 10 kilometre race was announced to the world, the Project Consultant Bukola Olopade and the General Manger Mr. Yussuf Alli said clearly that the 10 kilometre road race was a family race for fun runners and the family.
“Elite runners from Nigeria or any other part of the world are not eligible. Also ineligible are fun runners who are not resident in Nigeria but other nationals like English, Americans, Asians who live and work in Nigeria are eligible to participate in the 10 kilometre family race.’’
Thomas said the organisers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon were doing many things to encourage Nigerian elite athletes to improve in the full marathon to catch up with their counterparts from other parts of the world.
The prize money for the Nigerian number one which was N1million, has now been increased to N3million.
Said Thomas, “I think Nigerian elite athletes should not be distracted by anything rather they should concentrate on improving their time to be the best in the world. About 30 years ago, a Nigeria soldier, Abass Muhammad, was running 2.15 minutes; a time good enough to win the first two editions of our marathon. Our athletes are talented; all they need do is to pay more attention to details, be more professional and focused. Running marathons and road races is very lucrative and should not be distracted by immediate gains.”