The journey for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to attain the prestigious IAAF gold label will begin this morning with a record attendance of 165,000 athletes battling for various prizes in both the 42km event and the 10km family race.
The huge number of participants notwithstanding, the chief executive officer of NILAYO Sports Management Ltd, Bukola Olopade, whose marketing outfit is the official consultant to the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, said they would stage a race the entire world will be proud of.
"We were at Dubai and Maimi marathons few weeks ago, and I can assure Nigerians that the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will be a world-class event," a confident Olopade told The Guardian yesterday.
This year's Lagos City Marathon will see more than 45,000 participants taking part in the 10km family race, which has two brand new cars as prize money from GAC Motors.
A staggering number of 125,000 athletes, including notable international marathoners, will battle in the 42km-long race, which has $50,000 dollars as prize money for both male and female winners.
According to Olopade, a former sports commissioner in Ogun State, the trips to Dubai in the United Arabs Emirates and Maimi in the United States of America would go a long way in helping the organisers stage a befitting marathon event this morning.
General Manager for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Yusuf Alli, a minimum of 100 top-class marathon runners will contest this morning.
Alli, an ex-jumper stated that the organisers were looking forward to the IAAF gold label within a short period of time. "This Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is the second in the world to achieve a bronze label with two years. When we came on board, we gave ourselves five years target for the gold label, and from the way we are going, we may achieve it before the time."
On what he expects from the elite athletes this morning, Alli said: "I am looking forward to them run three minutes in one kilometer and five minutes per mile."
The race will flag off in front of the National Stadium, Surulere by 6.30 am, and will terminate at Eko Atlantic City.