By Omolola Sodunke
ABRAHAM KITUM last year’s winner of the first Access Lagos marathon has emerged again as the winner of this year’s edition. He finished with a time of 2:15:20.He was followed by RONNY KIPKOECH KIBOSS also from Kenya and KIPROTICH KIROI from Kenya in the 2nd and 3rd position with running time of 2:15:25 and 2:15:28 respectively. For the women runners Kenya’s TANUI RODAH tops the table as she arrived in a time of 2:37:50, FRIDAH LODEPA came 2nd with a time of 2:38:21 with ALICE TIMBILILI trailing behind in third place with 2:39:02 as her run time. ILYA PAM NWANTA tops the list of Nigerian males to finish the race with a time of 2:31:41, 2nd was PHILIP SHARABUTU with 2:37:21 while in 3 rd place was PETER MAHAM 2.39. On the women’s table FADEKE OLODE ran 3:02:30 to become the first female Nigerian runner to cross the finish line while BABALOLA HANNAH won the wheelchair race.
As early as 5am local time runners had begun to gather at the start point showing lots of enthusiasm and determination to get to the finish line. The 41.2 Km race started at exactly 7am en route Ikorodu road through Anthony unto Gbagada express way to 3 rd mainland bridge descending into Kingsway road past Osborn way, bourdillon, Lekki Link Bridge, Lekki toll gate, Ozumba Madiwe 1004 Estate all the way to Amadu Bello way and finally stopping at the EKO Atlantic. The winning prices for this year are $50,000 for the overall winner, $40,000 for the second while the 3rd position receives $30,000. Other runners including the first 10 runners, the first Nigerian male, the first Nigerian female, first thirty special-needs runners will all receives various cash prices.
This year’s race was better coordinated as there were more sponsors for the event a larger unit of security, with a combination of the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army, Civil Defence, LASTMA, Private security firm and many volunteers. The traffic was also better managed with timed road diversion for different areas of the race and its removal as the last runner passes. Athletes had more than enough to refresh themselves on the way with water, fruits and drinks shared along the way from start to finish of the race.
In all over a 100,000 runners started the race, with participants from over 10 countries including the USA, but not all who started could complete the race. While there were many surprises like the 7 year old Damilola Oluwaseun who ran 10km to the finish line, few runners stopped along the way, others turned back, many ended their race in the standby buses, while most runners were determined to finish the race even if it meant walking to the finish line.
ABRAHAM KIPTON who is the winner of the race for the second time says he hope to clinch the price yet again next year. Meanwhile, organisers of the marathon have assured immediate disbursement of cash prices to winners. Bukola Olopade, the project Consultant assured that the tile sponsors of the event, Access Bank Plc and the state government have made arrangement to ensure that there was no controversy as to when and how the winners will receive their cash prices.