Determined to get the elite male and female runners to run inside 2.10 minutes and 2.20 minutes respectively, the organisers of the February 11, 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have signed on two pace-makers for the second edition of the race.
According to the event’s General Manager, Yussuf Alli, the two pacemakers are winner of the 2009 Hamburg Half Marathon and Vienna Marathon both in 2009 with personal best of 2:06:14, Imiron Kirwa and Elkana Kiptum Ruto with 2:24:00.
Alli revealed that the two pacemakers would exit the race at 36 kilometers of the 42.192 kilometers race.
“We want our race to be ranked among the world’s elite races before our fifth edition. This is why we are using the pacemakers so that our elite men can run inside two hours, 10 minutes and the elite women inside two hours, 20 minutes.
“If we can achieve this in our second edition, with our weather, the world will salute us, and that will improve our ranking from the current number 71 in the world. Our aim is the top 20 in the world by the fifth edition,” he said.
Alli dismissed fears being entertained in some quarters that the pacemakers may break the agreement if at 36 kilometres, other runners are still far behind.
“It will never happen because we have a contract with them that they must stop at the 36 kilometers mark. Peradventure they decide to break the agreement, they will not be entitled to any prize money, and they will also wear a different running bib which clearly identifies them as pacemakers,” he added.
Alli is pleased with the response of elite athletes, fun runners and even charity organisations to the second edition of the race, saying, “the response is overwhelming… over 40,000 response in the first few days. Nothing can beat that ‘’, said Alli.