By Our Reporter
Determined to achieve a sub 2 hours:10 minutes in the inaugural edition of the Abuja International Marathon (AIM) slated for December 17, 2022, Unicentral Resources Generation Limited, the FCTA-approved organizer of the race is at an advanced discussion with 11 male gold labelled runners, nine gold labelled female runners and three pacers to make the objective a reality.
This was contained in a statement signed by Olukayode Thomas, the Race Director, who also coordinates Media and Publicity.
Zsuzsanna Ogunmiloyo, the Managing Director of Abuja International Marathon said the Abuja International Marathon started with a tradition of setting the pace and it would love to continue that tradition by becoming the first race in Nigeria to achieve sub-2 hours: 10 minutes in the first edition.
Said Ogunmiloyo, ‘’ Abuja International Marathon is the first international full marathon to have its route measured and calibrated by a certified World Athletics and AIMS Grade A measurer before its first edition, a first in Nigeria.
“Our route was measured and calibrated by Norrie Williamson, measurer of the route of four Olympic Games and many iconic marathons and road races around the world. Our next target is to have a world-class elite field capable of doing a sub 2 hours: 10 minutes which will be another first in Nigeria.
“Already we are at an advanced stage of discussion with 11 gold labelled runners and nine females. To assist the runners in achieving our objective, we have discussed three paces, two for the men elite and one for the ladies’’.
Ogunmiloyo revealed that about 200 elite runners will participate in the maiden Abuja International Marathon, “The request from different parts of the world has been massive since our inaugural world press conference on June 30, 2022, but we are looking at between 60 to 80 elite runners from different parts of the world and between 100 and 120 from Nigeria.’’
Ogunmiloyo expressed delight that Unicentral has put Abuja and FCT at par with other global destinations with the Abuja International Marathon.
“International marathons is one of the criteria for assessing tourist destinations worldwide today,” she said. “Apart from fun runs and other small races, Abuja is the only major city in Africa and probably in the world that does not have an international that can rival the Abbott Six Major Marathons, but from December 17, 2022, this will be history’’.
Ogunmiloyo urged Nigerians, especially Corporate Nigeria and governmental agencies, to support the Abuja International Marathon. ‘’Abuja, a beautiful city with an excellent road network deserves an international marathon that will showcase its beauty to the world, so we appealed to all Nigerians, Corporates Nigeria and government agencies to join FCTA and Unicentral to make Abuja International Marathon, which has been tagged, ‘A Race for Unity, a huge success,” she said.