Organisers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have said they are targeting and will immediately apply for upgrade to IAAF Gold Label Status at the conclusion of the third edition holding on Saturday, February 10.
The CEO of Nilayo, the event marketing consultancy, Bukola Olopade, gave the indication at a press conference at the Eko Hotels, Lagos, on Thursday.
Describing it as a “Legacy event” Olopade revealed that the marathon which achieved IAAF Bronze Label after only two editions has continued to garner enormous international accolades for the standard of organization and assured that the organization of the third edition scheduled for Saturday, February 10 will be a greater improvement over past editions. It is only the second of such races, the world over, to achieve bronze label status after only two years and Olopade is excited that the officers directly in charge of road races is the man to supervise the third edition of the marathon.
“The accolades from the international community for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon show we are doing a wonderful job. This time, we are applying for god Label immediately and we are happy that the man in charge of road races at the IAAF, Alessio Punzi, has been sent to supervise this edition to see for him self for first hand observation and assessment,” Olopade enthused.
“We sent delegations to the Dubai and Miami Marathons with a view to seeing how we can better improve our own and at the finish of the race on Saturday, the world will say kudos to Nigeria and Africa.”
Interestingly, the Lagos marathon has about the best, most direct (Point A to B) and runner-friendly routes in word races with its highest point at the middle of the Lekki Link Bridge lower that the lowest point of the Dubai Marathon, for instance.
General Manager of the marathon, Yusuf Alli, told journalists that measures have been put in place to ensure that the race is less motorized to give free way to runners.
“We are aiming to finish within 2hrs 10mins. We want achieve 3mins per kilometre and this means we have to ensure less motorisation to provide good free way for the runners. The bikes will be 20 metres away from the runners while the lead vehicle will be 25 metres away. We have deployed more Ambulances and each Ambulance will be roving from and back within 5km until the last runner. We also have a two-radio system for effective communication on emergency. Also, the finish track and the athletes recovery area are bigger,” Alli revealed.
The organisers have also decided to avoid any ceremonies that could lead to delay at the starting point. To achieve this, the Chief Host, the Governor of Lagos State, will not be at the starting point to flag off the race, to avoid delay on account of protocols.
Accredited journalists have also been trained on best practices in the coverage of the event to forestall intrusions on the athletes both in the course of the race and at the finish. To enhance their coverage, the organisers have designed three categories of accreditation and assured them that a special area has been designated for interviews with the athletes.