Athletics legend Yussuf Alli has described the decision of the Lagos chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to organize a road race as one of the best things that happened to marathon and road races since Governor Akinwunmi Ambode revived the culture in February 2016 with the Lagos City Marathon.
“The media is the fourth estate of the realm because journalists set agenda and we follow. The decision to organize a road race which is open to all Nigerians with special prizes for journalists and non-journalists will make millions of Nigerians embrace the culture of running, I am so happy with the decision.”
Alli who was within the Top 10 ranking in the world during his active years in the men's long jump alongside legends like Carl Lewis and Mike Powel for a decade is now the poster face for the organization of top road races across Nigeria, including the Lagos City Marathon which is an IAAF Bronze Label race, Okpekpe Road Race, Aba Half Marathon and others.
He said that when media practitioners sing the gospel of walking, jogging, running, general exercise and its immense health benefits more and more citizens will embrace it thus leading to a healthier and more productive workforce and less spending by the government on healthcare.He added: “ Since Governor Ambode revived the culture of marathon in 2016 with the Lagos City Marathon, there has been an upsurge in the interest of Lagosians and Nigerians alike in road races and marathon, so with the media coming in now, that will even help further."
Alli said he would be more than willing to also help with the Lagos Media Marathon to make it a success right from its first edition.
The Lagos City Marathon General Manager commended the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and other relevant bodies that were involved in the planning of the Lagos Media Marathon fixed for May 1, 2019.
The chairman of the Organising Committee for the Lagos Media Marathon, Tony Ubani has urged public and privates’ companies across the country to partner, support and sponsor the first marathon race being championed by journalists.
The upcoming Lagos Media Marathon scheduled for May 1st, 2019 is not exclusive to only journalists, it is opened to every member of the public to participate and have fun. Journalists and students will be participating for free while other interested members of the public will be paying a token of N3,000 for registration.
With the N3, 000 registration fee, participants are guaranteed a quality goodie bag, quality running kits as well as medal among other things.
Ubani noted that the gains and positives that can be derived from the Lagos Media Marathon are enormous as sponsoring the Lagos Media Marathon is a win-win situation for intending partners as the event is not a one-off.
Secondly, Ubani noted that a lot of international journalists will also be coming in for the Lagos Media Marathon and they will be going back with good news about Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.
The media's involvement would further encourage more Nigerians to imbibe the culture of running which is good for healthy living.
In addition, “Apart from the main race which will be held on May 1, we have a long list of other activities that would keep our sponsors and partners in the news, “ Ubani assured.
Ubani revealed that a special school programme in conjunction with Lagos State Athletics Association is being planned and also a Marathon Expo are all being put in place.
The Lagos Media Marathon Organising Committee chairman said it will be gladdening to have the first media marathon ever in Africa and possibly in the world in Lagos, Nigeria.
The registration for the Lagos Media Marathon will officially take off on Friday, March 1st.
Interested participants can either visit lagosmediamarathon.com to register or pick physical forms at various centres that would be announced soon.
It is expected that over 30,000 runners will feature in this inaugural edition of the Lagos Media Marathon.
The Chairman of the Lagos State Branch of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Debo Oshundun has said the upcoming Lagos Media Marathon scheduled for May 1st is not exclusive to only journalists.
Speaking over the weekend in Lagos, Oshundun who is the Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee said the Lagos Media Marathon though being spearheaded by journalists is opened to every member of the public to participate and have fun.
He explained that just like there is the Aviation Marathon in Singapore that is organized by stakeholders in the aviation industry but its open to every runner and Comrade Marathon organized by miners in South Africa and participation is usually for everybody, the Lagos Media Marathon, a 10km and 5km road race is open to participants outside the media industry.
“It is necessary we make this clarification because some erroneously think that the Lagos Media Marathon is only for journalists, it is for everybody, everybody across Nigeria and beyond are all welcomed to be part of the race” the Lagos SWAN chairman stated.
He added: “The only difference is that while journalists and students will not be paying any registration fees, other members of the general public will be paying a token of N3, 000 to participate in the Lagos Media Marathon”
According to Oshundun, with the N3, 000 registration fee, participants are guaranteed a quality goodie bag, quality running kits as well as medal among other things.
Oshundun also announced that the registration for the Lagos Media Marathon will officially take off on Friday, March 1st.
“The registration will begin on March 1st on our website lagosmediamarathon.com where people can pay and be entered immediately. Physical forms will also be made available at various centers that would be announced soon,” he concluded.
Already, organizers have stated that they are expecting over 30,000 runners in this inaugural edition of the Lagos Media Marathon.
Lagos Media Marathon Gets New Date
The maiden edition of the Lagos Media Marathon will now take place on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
The marathon which was initially billed for December 1, 2018, was moved forward due to some logistic reasons that have been sorted out by the organizers.
Tony Ubani, the Chairman of the Organising Committee for Lagos Media Marathon, said on Monday that the new date was arrived at after extensive consultations with the relevant stakeholders.
“Yes, we have a new date for our race now, the First Lagos Media Marathon will be taking place on May 1st and we are working very hard to make it a memorable one,” Mr Ubani stated.
The Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Lagos Media Marathon further revealed that more innovations are now being worked upon to add more spark to the media race.
He said: “For us, we don’t’ believe in just rushing to do any event, we want to get it right from this first race that is why we have chosen this new date which is May 1st 2019."
As already announced, the maiden Lagos Media Marathon will have two categories of 5km and 10km races which is opened to all journalists and others in the media industry.
Aside from journalists and students who are going to be allowed to participate in the media marathon for free, other members of the public interested in taking part in the maiden Media Marathon will be registering with a token.
While expressing delight at the new date for the Lagos Media Marathon, Debo Oshundun, the Chairman of the Lagos State branch of the Sports Writers Association of Nigerian (SWAN) enjoined all journalists to do all within their reach to support this innovation.
“This is our project and we must make the best out of it, we are very concerned with the healthy living of our member and this one great way to improve on that,’ the SWAN Chairman posited.
All Set for 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon
After several months of counting down, all is now set for the 4th edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon which will be taking place on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019.
On Friday at the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, a press conference was held to reiterate the plans in place to make the 2019 marathon better than all the previous editions.
At the well-attended event, the various title sponsors reaffirmed their commitment towards the success of IAAF Bronze label race adding that they are willing to do more to ensure that the race gets even more recognition.
Bukola Olopade, CEO of Nilayo Sports Management Limited and Race Consultant of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon said he was proud of the numerous gains from the Lagos race so far.
He was however quick to add that he and his team would not rest on their oars.
He said, “Sports is a veritable tool for empowerment. We’ve employed over 2000 people each year and engaged vendors. The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has changed the lifestyle of so many people; for instance, we now have more running clubs, which is one of the main purposes of the marathon, amongst other things”.
Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau said he is expecting better performances from the elite athletes in the race tomorrow:
“I am a happy person because this is happening in Nigeria under the supervision of the AFN. This Marathon is putting Nigeria on the map”, he said.
On his part the Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr Kweku Tandoh restated Lagos State’s commitment to hosting the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
“We are open to hosting international tournaments, and we hope Lagos State remains the hub of sports in Nigeria because the economic and health benefits are numerous, not forgetting the boosting of our tourism sector. I want to assure you that Lagos is ready, and tomorrow’s event will be bigger and better than the past three editions.” The Lagos sports boss stated.
One of the title sponsors, 7Up, disclosed that have extended their sponsorship for another five years and are proud to be in partnership with the organizers of the Marathon.
Another title sponsor, Revolutionplus Property Development Company Limited promised free plots of land to the Nigerian winners of the 42km race and the Wheelchair category.
Entertainers D’banj and Teni were also present at Friday's press conference and they have both promised to thrill the fans at the finishing point.
The winner of the men and women’s Marathon will get $50,000 each while 2nd and 3rd place will get $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.
The Nigerian winners will get N3million each while 2nd and 3rd place will get N2million and N1million respectively.
Winners of the 10km race will each get a brand new car from Kia Motors, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will get N1 million and N750,000 respectively.
In the Wheelchair category, the top finishers will get N1million while 2nd and 3rd positions will get N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
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