The Lagos City Marathon kicks off today and among the top dignitaries that will be particpatinbg in the annual race are the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalong; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, and President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick.
The annual athletics event, now in its third year, will also see top diplomats, a-list artistes and celebrities taking part in the 10km race, which will also feature over 100 elite athletes and more than 20,000 other participants.
Speaking ahead of the event, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday, noted that his administration had set a target of getting the marathon listed in the annual calendar of the International Association of Athletics Federation, which will eventually earn it a Gold Label award within the next two years.
The governor mentioned that the success the marathon has achieved so far has been encouraging and that following the successes recorded by previous editions of the annual marathon, his administration would continue to invest heavily in sports, entertainment and hospitality, as it had shown to have the capacity to contribute positively to the development of Lagos.
“For Lagos, this is an exciting moment for us. We believe strongly that we are the capital of sports in Nigeria and need to showcase all the infrastructure and facilities that we have. This is why we have supported the Access Lagos City Marathon in the last three years and it is getting bigger and we are happy to be the host of this marathon.
“The main goal is to have the Marathon in the main calendar for the gold award in the next two years. I believe strongly that with the support of all the sponsors, we’ll get to where we ought to be.”
The governor also mentioned that he was tired of seeing foreigners win the race every year and o encouraged Nigerian athletes to step up their games.