Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says his administration will continue to support the Lagos City Marathon to sustain healthy living among residents of the state.
The governor made this known on Saturday during the 2021 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said the Marathon should be encouraged as it was a way of keeping healthy.
He noted that the marathon started six years ago and had helped in promoting tourism and state development, adding that the Lagos City Marathon was important to everyone and there was need to continue.
The governor urged the people of Lagos to aspire to do better in the course of the race, as participating in the marathon required a lot of dedication.
While assessing the marathon’s compliance to the COVID-19 protocol, Sanwo-Olu said the event was a success, noting that the event should have taken place before now.
“The race which started at 6:30 a.m. from the National Stadium, Surulere and finishing point at Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island Lagos, had 300 expected participants, 85 International Elites and 105 Nigerian Elites.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highlight of the marathon was the emergence of Emmanuel Naibei, a Kenyan at first position, while Daresa Geleta and Demiso Legese Gudeta both Ethiopians, taking second and third positions, respectively, in the male category.
In the female category, Meseret Dinke an Ethiopian emerged as first, with Istifanus Peter Mahan emerging as the first Nigerian to finish the race.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc., Mr Herbert Wigwe, said the Lagos City Marathon had witnessed over 50,000 participants from different African countries annually.
He noted that in comparison to other years, the 2021 edition of the marathon had the lowest turnout of 300 participants.
Wigwe said the low turnout was not because of reduced interest but the need to follow strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure safety of all attendees.
“We are compelled to maintain the social distancing regulations in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, “he said.
Wigwe said the current breakthrough in science had made the organisation hopeful, adding that 2022 would have more people returning to the tracks.