Nigeria’s mega city, Lagos State, will be the centre of attention as the 4th edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon takes centre stage on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019.

At a press conference held at the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja on Friday, the various title sponsors of one of the biggest marathons on the continent, reaffirmed their commitment towards the success of the event which currently has an IAAF Bronze label.

One of the title sponsors, 7Up, disclosed that have extended their sponsorship for another five years and are proud to be in partnership with the organizers of the Marathon.

7Up Nigeria Marketing Director, Norden Thurston said: “The first bottle of 7Up in Nigeria was produced on the 1st of October, 1960, so 7Up and Nigeria are two destinies intertwined. We wish all participants the very best tomorrow and 7Up and Aquafina will keep the athletes refreshed tomorrow.”

Another title sponsor, Revolutionplus Property Development Company Limited, still in their first year of partnership with the Lagos City Marathon, promised free plots of land to the Nigerian winners of the 42km race and the Wheelchair category as stated by the Managing Director and CEO of the company, Bamidele Onalaja.

Bukola Olopade, who is the CEO of Nilayo Sports Management Limited – organizers of the Lagos City Marathon, reiterated the gains of hosting the marathon in Lagos State, revealing that it had empowered more people and led to Lagosians now adopting a more positive lifestyle.

He said, “Sports is a veritable tool for empowerment. We’ve employed over 2000 people each year and engaged vendors. The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has changed the lifestyle of so many people; for instance we now have more running clubs, which is one of the main purposes of the marathon, amongst other things”.

Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau said he is expecting better performances from the elite athletes in the race tomorrow:

“I am a happy person because this is happening in Nigeria under the supervision of the AFN. Tomorrow we will be hoping for a better record and a Silver label if some conditions are met. This Marathon is putting Nigeria on the map”, he said.

Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr Kweku Tandoh restated Lagos State’s commitment in hosting the Access Bank Marathon.

He said: “We are open to hosting international tournaments, and we hope Lagos State remains the hub of sports in Nigeria because the economic and health benefits are numerous, not forgetting the boosting of our tourism sector. I want to assure you that Lagos is ready, and tomorrow’s event will be bigger and better than the past three editions.”

Entertainers D’banj and Teni were also at hand to lend their support to the race, and are set to thrill the fans tomorrow at the finishing point.

The winner of the men and women’s Marathon will get $50,000 each and a trophy. 2nd and 3rd place will get $40,000 and $30,000 respectively. The Nigerian winners will get N3million each and a plot of land, while 2nd and 3rd place will get N2million and N1million respectively.

Winners of the 10km race will each get a brand new car from Kia Motors, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will get N1million and N750,000 respectively.

In the Wheelchair category, the top finishers will get N1million and a plot of land each, while 2nd and 3rd positions will get N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

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