Although the race is still about two months to go, the second edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has generate so much interest among elite marathoners worldwide that all of them want to be part of it.
Already, about 125 elite athletes have applied to participate in the race slated for February 11, 2017, but, according to General Manager, Marathon, Yussuf Alli, only 60 foreign elites athletes and 100 Nigeria elites will be invited for this edition.
“ We are expecting 50,000 participants this year, so we welcome runners from all parts of the world, but we shall cover travel expenses and accommodation of only 160 elite athletes, 60 elite athletes from different parts of the world and 100 Nigerian elite athletes based at home and abroad,” he said.
Alli reconfirmed that Kenya’s Daniel Kinyua, who is currently ranked among the top 10 in the world, will be in Lagos.With personal best of 2:05:21, he won the 2016 Amsterdam Marathon.
Also confirmed for the race is Kenya’s Sammy Kitwaic, a bronze medalist at the World Half Marathon, who ran 2:04:28 at 2014 Chicago Marathon and 2:05:45 Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.
Marius kimutai also from Kenya with a 2:05:47 at the 2016 Amsterdam marathon 2016 and Ethiopia’s Siraj Gena Ethiopia, who won the 2016 Buenos Aires Marathon in October 2016, 2010 Rome Marathon and 2013 Istanbul Marathon are also coming to Lagos.
The female field is equally strong, according to Alli, who confirmed that Ethiopia’s Mamitu Dasic, Alice Timbili, Haliem Hussan Beriso and Emily Chekemoi Samoe of Kenya, the winner of 2013 Barcelona International Marathon and 2015 First Xiamen International Marathon, Taiwan, would be in for the race.
He said that elite athletes from 13 countries have confirmed to participate in the 2017 race, adding, “our projection is 50,000 runners but the response has been tremendous… we have distributed over 40,000 physical forms, but the response online has been great. At the end of the day, the number of runners that may turn out on February 11 may surpass our projection,” said Alli.