World Athletics pens Lagos Marathon for platinum label


By Abiodun Adewale

Vice President of World Athletics, Jackson Tuwei, says the athletics governing body will consider giving the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon a platinum label if they find it worthy after a thorough review of the next edition in 2025, The PUNCH reports.

Kenyan runner, Bernard Sang, won the 42km race of the 2024 edition which last Saturday after clocking 02:16:49 and also went home with $30,000. The 32-year-old continued the Kenyan dominance, with the East Africans having won the race in 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2021.

Nine years into the birth of the race, organisers are now looking forward to achieving the platinum label of the World Athletics.

The marathon achieved gold-label status last year, becoming the first full marathon in Africa to attain such height and the 25th in the world. It got the bronze label in 2017 after its second edition, while the silver label followed two years later in 2019.

“Now it’s already at gold level and I’m sure with this kind of organisation, we are going to look at it, particularly in the next edition, which is the 10th. There are so many things that you look into, time is one of them and we get the reports from all technical officials as well,” Tuwei told journalists after the race.

“The team from World Athletics was here to check the temperature and the weather. The experts will give us a report of what we need to do so that the athletes can produce their best and break records here. We are getting it right.”

Former President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Solomon Ogba, expressed confidence in the race attaining the platinum label.

“Everything that we need to do to get platinum, I think we have done it. The only thing is the time but that is not a major factor. But everything, including the number of elite athletes that ran, categories and other major issues like the road requirements have been met,” Ogba said.

“You also need a clean start. If you are running at 6am, it must be 6am. The illumination has to be good and the routes you are running must be clean. Runners can’t be running against traffic. There must be adequate water stations so that runners can be refreshed and medical must be top notch.”

Ogba also said the World Athletics has granted the race permission to hold a running conference ahead of the 10th edition next year.

“We are going to be 10 next year and the World Athletics has offered Lagos a road running conference which is very critical. It is not every road race that gets the privilege to hold a conference, so that is critical. It is going to happen next year and I’m sure the prize money will go up as well.”