It was celebration galore on Monday as the news filtered in that Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has been awarded the IAAF Bronze Label by the governing body of athletics, International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
Staff at the Marathon Office, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, including Project Consultant Bukola Olopade and General Manager Yussuf Alli were enveloped with joy by news from IAAF Road Running Manager Alexxio Punzi.
A statement signed the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Head of Communications and Media Olukayode Thomas said with this feat, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has now joined global elite races like New York, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, Dubai, London, Roma, Paris, Berlin, and others.
Among the thousands of races worldwide, only 88 are label by IAAF, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is one of the new additions to the elite club.
Project Consultant Olopade said the Executive Governor of Lagos State Akinwunmi Ambode will formally present the certificate to Lagosians and Nigerians soon.
Olopade expressed profound gratitude to Governor Ambode for making the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon a reality and for his unflinching support.
“We are a global brand today because of Governor Ambode’s vision and foresight, without him there won’t be anything called Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. This is his project and he is giving us all support we need. He is the Chairman of the Organizing Committee.
It is support that ensured that we got a personality like Norris Williamson , a grade A IAAF/AIMS measurer, who measured the route of Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics Games to measure and certify our route, which ensured that we are a label race before our third edition’’.
Olopade also thanked Access Bank the race sponsor and others sponsors and supporters like 7 Up, Bet naija, Eko Hotels, Eko Atlantics, GAC Motors and the staff of the Marathon Office for making this achievement possible.
IAAF label races are races that are designates as leading road races around the world. It was first introduced for the 2008.
The conditions for the award of IAAF label are stringent they include but not limited to an international elite field, the race course closed to vehicular traffic, route measured to the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) standard, use of electronic timing to generate the results, a specified number of doping tests , equal prize money for the participants and others.