The 2021 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has been moved from February 13, 2021, to April 10, 2021, according to Project Consultant Bukola Olopade, in a statement released on Tuesday.
“On behalf of our Host City, Lagos, the Center of Excellence, our Headline Sponsor, Access Bank and other partners and sponsors, we sincerely apologize for having to postpone our race from February 13, 2021, to April 10, 2021, because of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the cancellation or postponement of sporting events worldwide especially mass participation events like marathons and road races”.
Olopade revealed that Access Bank Lagos City Marathon organizers and sponsors had put machinery in place to go ahead with the race on February 13, 2021, especially all the Covid-19 protocols set by the World Athletics body and they got the approval of all the government agencies including the Lagos State Safety Commission which approved an elite only race.
The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare also approved the race for February 13, but on second thought, as responsible corporate citizens, it was agreed that the race should be moved since most organization are on lockdown till the end of February and with the prediction that by March, we would be experiencing a downward trend in the number of infections and vaccine would be available.
Organizers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon were inundated with calls from Athletics Federations around the world and elite runners who wanted to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Lagos since the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has been approved as Olympic Games qualifier by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and the World Athletics,
“We thank federations and elite runners worldwide who has chosen our race to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo. Our new date of April 10 still falls within the IOC deadline. Runners have till May 31, 2021, to qualify for the Olympic Games’’.
On whether the April 10 race will accommodate 10km family and fun runners, Olopade said that decision will be in the hands of the technical and medical personnel working with the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
“We have seen the benefits of running that Access Bank Lagos City marathon has revived in Lagos and Nigeria, especially the health benefits. The 10km race is for the people and as Project Consultant, I love to see thousands coming for our race but runners’ health is paramount so will leave the decision to technical and health personnel to decide but I will inform them of the desire of the runners who want the 10km race considered” said Olopade.