Access Bank Lagos city marathon: Kenya, Ethiopia Ruin Nigeria hopes

Despite the efforts of Nigerians to emerge overall winners of the Access Bank Lagos city marathon on Saturday, Kenyans and Ethiopians ended up emerging winners in both the male and female categories.

A Kenya-born France’s Abraham Kiprotich was the first to get to the finish line after having run the 42km for 2:13:04. Kiboss Ronny, also a Kenyan,  came second with the time of 2:13:26 while Victor Benjamin took the third position after crossing the finish line at exactly 2:13:29.

In the female category, Ethiopia’s Herpha Guta was the first female winner, Girma Getachew was second and Ayelu Hordofa, third.

Ilya Pam won for the second time running  while his closest rival and 2016 maiden edition winner Sharabutu Philibus emerged second in the indigenous category. Williams Kefas, however, came third in the race.

For the 10km race, Stephen Daniels came first with a brand new GAC car worth N7 million, Poku Luka, the second, cart away N1 million, while Joy Musa was third and got N750,000.

In the female category of the 10km, Rose Akuso emerged winner and got a star price of N7 million with other incentives. Fostina Ogu came second with the cash price of N1 million, while Onan Sali came third and got N750,000.

Speaking at the event, the host, Governor Akinwumi Ambode urged participants to enhance their performance.

“For the 10 Km race which is indigenous, we will try to increase the price money to encourage our athletes, they deserve more appreciation.

“Also, within two years, we will see how we can dislodge the Kenyan marathoners. We will employ international coaches that will train Lagos athletes in Jos.

“By this time next year, we will make them to sweat for the cash price which we hope to improve upon next year by God’s grace.”

The winner of the men’s race, Kiprotich, said that consistency was his watch word while preparing for the marathon.

“I just make sure that I am consistent with my timing for the race that is the most important thing. Long distance race is about timing not your competitors.

“Once you are consistent with the time, then try to improve on it no matter what happens to other athletes, you are one step away from winning the race,’’ he said.

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