12th December, 2015
Winner of maiden Access Bank Lagos City Marathon scheduled for February 6, 2016, would receive the prize of 50,000 dollars (over 12 million naira), organisers of the event have said.
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the event, Deji Tinubu, who announced this at a news conference on Friday in Lagos, also said that the Nigerian that top other local participants would receive N1 million.
NAN reports that Lagos State Government, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and Access Bank are collaborating in the sponsorship of the event.
Tinubu said that the second runner-up of the event would go home with 40,000 dollars while the third place marathoner would get 30, 000 dollars.
He also said that second place Nigerian would receive N750, 000, while N500,000 would go to the third place winner among the indigenous participants.
Tinubu, who is the Special Adviser on Sports to the Governor of Lagos, stressed that participants who finished in the top 10 positions would get prize money.
He said that the marathon would be a 42-kilometre race, starting from the National Stadium in Surulere to Ojota. “The race will go through the third Mainland Bridge to Ikoyi /Lekki Bridge, through the Lekki Toll Gate and Ozumba Mbadiwe, all the way down Bonny Camp, Federal Palace Hotel and ends at Eko Atlantic city.
“We have got letters of interest of top 10 marathoners in the world, both men and women.
“It is going to be a full marathon and this is the first time a full marathon will be held in Nigeria.
“The route has been strategically done to showcase the best sites of Lagos. The routes have already been calibrated and have been approved,” he said.
Tinubu said that the state government embraced the initiative because the event would feature world-ranked athletes, stressing that the state was keen on promoting tourism and sports.
“The Lagos Government is keen on promoting tourism and sports now; you won’t get sports and tourism right if you do not have international events like this.
“So, there is no way we can ignore such idea. I will like to commend the Access Bank and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria for agreeing to host it in Lagos,” he added.
Victor Etuokwu, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank, said that the bank decided to sponsor the marathon as part of its social responsibility to the state.
“When the idea came up that Lagos state was trying to organise a marathon that was endorsed by AFN and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), we felt we owe it as a responsibility to the state.
“As banker to the state government, we felt we needed to support the initiative. We felt the marathon is good for a city like Lagos, because it will showcase the city from its unique angle – how diverse it is, how friendly the people are.
“So, if we want to sell the city, we felt we needed to sponsor it,” he said.
Etuokwu said that the bank would try to woo other corporate organisations to embrace the sport.
Yusuf Alli, General Manager of the marathon, said that 40,000 participants were expected to register for the event.
He also said that there would be no fewer than 42 referees strategically positioned to ensure that athletes who were not fit did not continue.
“There would be a minimum of 42 referees; they have the power to stop anyone who they feel cannot continue. A form will be filled by participants to ensure that they are fit.
“The essence of the form is to ascertain that they are fit but you never can tell; the form is to ascertain that the organisers will not be held responsible if you ascertain that you are fit for the race,” he said.