iexclusivenews – The Gold-Label Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has crowned a new champion: Bernard Sang, a Kenyan athlete who completed the 42-kilometre race in a remarkable time of 2:16:49, earning himself a whopping $30,000 in prize money.
A Race of Endurance and Excitement
The marathon, which is one of the most prestigious and popular events in Nigeria, took place on Saturday, February 10, 2024, drawing thousands of spectators and participants from across the globe.
The race started from the National Stadium in Surulere, and ended at the Eko Atlantic city, a stunning coastal development that showcases the beauty and potential of Lagos.
Sang, who had previously finished third in the 2023 edition of the marathon, showed his improvement and determination by leading the pack from start to finish.
Beating his fellow countrymen Silas Cheprot and Geoffrey Birgen, who came in second and third respectively.
A Historic Win for Women
In the women’s category, the marathon witnessed a historic moment as Kebene Chala, a 25-year-old Ethiopian runner, became the first woman to win the race, breaking the previous record held by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich.
Chala crossed the finish line in a stunning time of 2:32:12, claiming the same prize money as Sang, $30,000. She was followed by two Kenyan runners, Mercy Kibarus and Evaline Chirchir, who took the second and third spots respectively.
A Testimony of Hard Work and Gratitude
Sang, who was visibly elated by his victory, expressed his happiness and gratitude in a post-race interview.
“I am very happy and grateful to have won the 9th edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. I have been participating in this race and never emerged as a winner. Last year, I came in third, but this year is different because I won the race.”
He also revealed the secret behind his success: his rigorous training regimen.
“Despite the hot weather conditions in Kenya, I trained both in the morning and evening for over two months, and the hard work paid off as I emerged victorious in the marathon.”
A Celebration of Diversity and Inclusion
The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon 2024 was not only a showcase of athletic excellence, but also a celebration of diversity and inclusion.
Over 81 world-class elite runners from various countries participated in the race, making it a truly international event.
Among them were 15 refugee runners, who were confirmed by the United Nations to join the race as part of their efforts to promote the rights and dignity of refugees around the world.
The Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, the owners of the Lagos City Marathon, Chief Bukola Olopade, praised the participation of the refugee runners, saying,
“We are proud to have them in our race, and we hope that their presence will inspire and motivate others to overcome their challenges and pursue their dreams.”
The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon 2024 was a memorable and successful event that brought joy and excitement to the city of Lagos and the nation of Nigeria.
It also demonstrated the power and potential of sports to unite and uplift people from different backgrounds and circumstances.