Georgina Jepkirui Rono of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Azalech Masresha have been confirmed for next year’s edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
The pair adds to the growing list of top marathon runners billed to take part in the race on 10 February.
Rono, 37, comes with a huge experience in long-distance running as she has taken part in 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 kilometres races as well as half marathons across the world.
In October 2011, she won the Eindhoven Marathon finishing a personal best of 2:24:33 hours while she ended up in third place at the 2012 Boston Marathon.
Masresha, on the other hand, took part at the 33rd IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Saint-Galmier, France in March 2005. She ranked 12th in that event.
The Ethiopian’s personal best in a full marathon was in Paris in 2010 when she clocked 2:25:34 hours.
Masresha is already getting herself acquainted with a warmer terrain knowing that the weather conditions in Lagos in February will be warm.
“I am happy that the 2018 race will start by 6.30am this will give us the opportunity to finish before the weather becomes too hot but irrespective of the organizers moving the race to 6.30am, I have moved my training to a city that has the same weather with Lagos. That way, the timing will be irrelevant since I am already used to the Lagos weather,” she revealed.
Lagos City Marathon’s IAAF label adds advantage
General manager of the Lagos marathon, Yusuf Alli, believes that being accorded an IAAF label has helped the marathon attract some of the best long distance runners across the world.
He added that the number of elite runners could increase next year after previous editions recorded impressive numbers of such runners.
“In 2016 and 2017, we had over 200 elite runners but the level of interest being shown in the 2018 edition, we may get double that figure. Elite athletes are writing from America, Mexico, Germany and so many parts of the world.
“Our getting an IAAF label after two editions is also one of the factors that is making our race generate intense positive interest worldwide,” Alli said.
© The Predictor