The number of gold labeled athletes eager to compete at the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, slated for February 10, keeps growing by the day.
The latest runners to join the ranks include a past winner of the Dubai Marathon, Kenyan David Barnasai Tumo, and his compatriot Levy Matebo Omari who has a personal best of 2:07:18 hours.
It’s not just the bookmakers that didn’t give Barmasai a chance to win the Dubai Marathon.
When he did, he didn’t give himself just a chance, his aim was a top 10 finish.
Eventually, even Barmasai surprised himself with a win.
He was leading the field that included established and pre-race favourites like Eliud Kiptanui and Evans Cheruiyot to win in a time of 2:07:18 hours – almost one minute ahead of the field.
He received US$250,000 for winning the race.
“My colleagues have told me about the Lagos route and how lovely it is. I will love to run and win in Lagos, I also want to experience the warm reception I heard Lagosians give marathoners,’’Barmasai said.
Also booked for the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is Levy Matebo Omari, with a personal best of 2:05:16 hours for the 42.195 km distance, which he set as a runner-up at the 2011 Frankfurt Marathon.
He was also second at the Boston Marathon in 2012. He has won marathons in Brussels and Barcelona. In addition to the marathon, he has a half marathon best of 1:00:06 hours.
General Manager, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Yussuf Alli, said the interest shown so far for the third edition was outstanding.
“I get several e-mails and calls daily from athlete managers and representatives begging to come to Lagos. Apart from the professional runners who are coming for the cash, so many fun runners who will be here to spend their money and boost tourism, trade and hospitality businesses have also indicated interest. I am so happy Lagos is now the darling of the world, thanks to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and our sponsors,’’Alli said.