Participants in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have been assured of easy transportation to the National Stadium, Surulere, to meet the 6.30am starting time of the race.
General Manager of the Marathon, Yusuf Alli, revealed at a press conference and reception for elite athletes from various countries at the Eko Hotel, Lagos, on Thursday afternoon, that the time was so fixed to enable the athletes run in the best weather condition and arrangements have been perfected to deploy 100 Rapid Transport Buses convey runners early in the morning from various parts of Lagos to the starting point.
A major partner of the Marathon, 7Up, also revealed through its Senior Brand Manager, Segun Ogunleye, that it will be providing 250,000 bottles of Aquafina Water to be distributed at 21 water and refreshment points for the refreshment and rehydration of runners.
We don’t consider the 6.30am starting time too early. This is Marathon and we want the runners to run at a time when the weather is cool so that they can perform better. We want to run faster time and hopefully set some records because we are hoping to attain IAAF Gold Label by the at the end of this edition,” Alli offered.
“The Japan Marathon starts at 5am. The Dubai Marathon also starts at 5am. These times were fixed so that the runners can perform when the weather is still cool. Here, the weather begins to get hot at about 9am. It is for the same reason we have fixed ours at 6.30am which is not too early but to support participants to get to the starting point on time, we are deploying 100 BRT buses to pick them from different points of the city. Last year, we deployed 50 buses we we have doubled the number now because entries for the Marathon has surged. In fact, we are planning, in subsequent editions to move the start off back to about 6am to have the run at even cooler weather.”
Also allaying fees, CEO of Nilayo, the marathon company, Bukola Olopade, assured that “transportation on the day of the marathon will be seamless.”
The Lagos State Government is working day and night to ensure this. They have communicated and have kept communicating to the public on the roads that will be closed on the day.”
Olopade also revealed that the issue of security is being taken seriously.
“Security for the marathon is firm. We may not give you details of the arrangements for security for the obvious reason that it’s not right to give out details of plans. Indeed, the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, elected to lead Head the security committee personally. That should tell us how seriously we have taken security.”