Scores of intending marathoners swarmed to the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Wednesday to register for the Gold Label, 2024 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, as the activation process commenced.
A visit to the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon village witnessed a large turnout of early birds who came to register for the 2024 edition and get involved in the activation process.
The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon village at the Teslim Balogun Stadium has been filled with many activities as different brand sponsors picked their stands within the Volleyball Court.
The brands on site include Access Bank, the major sponsor, 7up Bottling Company, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, makers of Three Crown Milk, Kenya Airways, Rio Cars, among others.
According to the Technical department, the Gold Label race has registered an unprecedented over 5,000 intending runners within the first day of the activation process.
Seyi Johnson, the Project Manager at Nilayo Sports Management Company, owners of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, said that the organizers expect a bigger and better race in 2024.
"This year has been remarkable so far in terms of turnout. Normally, we do expect a surge in registration on the third day, but the 2024 edition has been different.
"The turnout on the first day is highly impressive and massive, and the organizers are grateful to the Lagosians, the Lagos State government, and all our sponsors who are part of this success story.
"This is the 9th edition, and trust, it is going to be a great year because as a brand, we strive to give our very best, so Lagos should expect the best marathon so far," he said.
One of the co-sponsors, 7up, through its supervisor, Mr. Ayodeji Moses from Rescue Promotion, said that the turnout of the intending marathoners has been remarkable so far.
"The turnout here has been massive. We didn't expect such a crowd on the first two days, but this year has been different.
"In the past years that I have been coming, people normally started showing up after a few days of activation, but with what I have seen so far, it is a different thing this year.
"Many, after their registration for the race, have come to get a free drink from our stands out of many of our variants products.
"We should expect more runners this year," he said.
One of the intending runners, Folasade Tunwase, stated that she was ecstatic to participate for the fourth time in the marathon.
"This year will be my fourth year of participating. I do sort out my schedule ahead so as to accommodate the marathon in my to-do list.
"I am yet to win the tournament or come close, but within some years to come, I hope to train well, maybe I can win at least in the 10km race," she said.
The Access Bank Lagos State City Marathon with the 2024 race expected to hold on Feb. 10 has proven to be a race of remarkable feats and many firsts right from its inception.
In 2015, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon clinched the World Athletics Bronze Label on the heels of its second edition, becoming the third marathon in the world to accomplish this within that time.
Two years after this accreditation, the Marathon was awarded the Silver Label, becoming the first-ever marathon to attain this after only four editions.
Continuing with the trend of firsts, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon recently earned the World Athletics Gold Label, officially becoming the first full marathon in Africa to achieve this historic feat.
The World Athletics Gold Label is awarded to races that satisfy the international body’s requirements in terms of the quality of organization and management and a host of other criteria.
With its Gold Label Status, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon joins other races like the Osaka Marathon, the Tokyo Marathon, Zurich Marato Barcelona, the Hannover Marathon, the Enschede Marathon, the Vienna City Marathon, and the Belfast City Marathon on the World Athletics table of Label races for 2024.