The 8th Gold-Label Access Bank Lagos City Marathon kicked off on Saturday amidst fanfare, with runners expectant of a good show.
The marathon began at 7.00.a.m at National Stadium, Surulere, with Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare on the sidelines for the start.
A total of 50,000 runners, local and international, are participating in the marathon.
Some runners who spoke to newsmen expressed readiness for the race and to have fun.
Mrs Itoro Jacobs said she was always looking forward to the race in which she had participated for the past four years.
“I have been participating for the past four years, although the East Africans have been dominating the race and taking the prize money.
“We can’t measure up to the East Africans because they are professionals with six months of training. For me, I am just running for fun.
“I always look forward to the race every year because it is a time to lose weight, interact and make friends with people,” Jacub said.
Another runner, an National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member in Lagos, Patience Samuel, said that her mother encouraged her to run.
“This is my first time participating in the marathon.
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“My mum actually encouraged me to join the runners.
“I am looking forward to some fun as my mum told me. I also want to keep fit,” Samuel said.
Also, 56-year-old Samuel Gbadegesin said the marathon was an opportunity for him to know how his body would react to stress.
“I joined the race about two years ago. I want to know how much stress I can withstand because I am not getting younger.
“The marathon is a good avenue for me to assess my health and know my fitness.
“I want to live long and this marathon is a test of my health status,” Gbadegesin said.
Bukola Olopade, Chairman, Nilayo Sports Management Limited, organisers of the race, told newsmen that he looked forward to an athlete that would break the record.
“People should expect the race to be fun. I am looking forward to anyone that would break the record.
“We still have one thing to look forward to and that is the two hours mark.
“We have had close to the time but we need someone that will break the finish line in two hours, a world record time,” Olopade said.
He added that competition has had an additional $10,000 for any athlete that breaks the records.
Lagos State Commissioner for Youth, Olusegun Dawodu and Chairman of State Sports Commission Sola Aiyepeku attended the starting point.
Also present are the Head of Technical for the race, Yusuf Ali among others.
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