Only 10,000 participants will be allowed to feature in the 2021 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, the race consultant and CEO for Nilayo Sports Management Company, Bukola Olopade, has revealed.
Recall that previous editions of the Lagos Marathon usually attracted almost 100, 000 runners from across the world.
Olopade made this public in Lagos, as he disclosed measures being taken occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
He noted that such drastic reduction in the number of runners was to adhere to social distancing and safety protocols mandated by relevant bodies to checkmate the further spread of COVID-19 in the country.
“We’ve stepped back to take a breather and ensure that all strategies are put in place to have a race that would fit the protocols put together by the World Athletics, PTF, Ministry of Youth and Sports so that at the end of the day, we do not put brands and even the state in trouble.
“Right now, I can say we have successfully mapped out our strategies and are ready to deliver a safe race,” he added.
Olopade further revealed their decision to suspend the 10km race, which has always been the crowd puller since it was introduced into the Lagos Marathon.
“We are only focusing on our flagship race which is the 42km that already has a Silver Label from the World Athletics. With what we are putting in place for 2021, we hope we can be upgraded into the Gold Label,” he explained.
Olopade said the goal for the 2021 race, beyond the typical fanfare, is to stage a world-class event that is equally safe for all.
The flagging off of registration procedures by top officials of the Lagos State Sports Commission on Thursday signalled the official commencement of activities for the 2021 Marathon.
Sola Aiyepeku, Executive Chairman of the Sports Commission, was honoured with the first two entry forms for the 2021 race alongside the Director-General of the Commission, Oluwatoyin Gafaar.
Aiyepeku lauded the efficiency of the organisers for mapping out modalities for a safe race adding that the Lagos State is making a big statement to stage the 2021 race while keeping with health and safety protocols.
The Lagos State Sports Commission boss added that more information on modalities for the 2021 race will soon be made public.
The 2021 Lagos Marathon is scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 13.