The General Manager of the Lagos City Marathon, Yussuf Alli, is optimistic, that the race will become an IAAF Gold Labelled race before its fifth edition.
Last week, Lagos City Marathon, with its maiden edition in February 2016, joined the global elite family as the IAAF granted the race a Bronze Label status after just two editions.
‘’This is a worthy feat and I must confess that it would not have possible without the vision and support of our Chairman, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State.’’Alli said.
Alli also revealed that Ambode has given the Organizing Committee all the assistance they required to succeed.
“We need to commend his vision to organize the marathon in the first place. Past administrations were not receptive to the idea, and within two years, the Lagos City Marathon has not only become Africa’s foremost one-day event, it joined the league of the best marathons in the world like New York, London Berlin, Tokyo and others by being awarded an IAAF Label,” he said.
Alli, who played a prominent role in ensuring that the Okpekpe 10 km Road Race becomes an IAAF Bronze and Silver Labelled Race, said his aim, with the backing of Ambode, is to get an IAAF Gold Label for the Lagos City Marathon before its fifth anniversary.
“As of today, there only four label races in Africa; Cape Town Marathon, Marathon du Gabon Okpekpe Road Race, and Lagos City Marathon.
‘’Of the four, only Cape Town Marathon that is currently in its tenth edition has a Gold Label and today, we have more runners than all other marathons in Africa.
‘’We had over fifty thousand in the first edition and over seventy thousand in the second edition. Our target in 2018 is over a hundred thousand runners, our elite field can compete with the global leaders in America and Europe, while our prize money is one the best in the world.’’
Alli said the Lagos City Marathon target for 2018 is the IAAF Silver Label, which the organisers believe is achievable.
“To get the Gold Label, all we need do is increase our elite field, build a world-class media station at finish, complete closure of route to vehicular movement and others. I know with the support of our amiable Chairman, Governor Ambode, we will achieve the Gold Label by our fifth edition,” Alli said.