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Access Bank’s Lagos City Marathon Pushes the Limits of Road Racing


Right from its inception, the Access Bank Lagos State City Marathon has proven to be a race of remarkable feats and many firsts.

In 2015, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon clinched the World Athletics Bronze Label on the heels of its second edition, becoming the third marathon in the world to accomplish this within that time. Two years after this accreditation, the Marathon was awarded the Silver Label — becoming the first ever marathon to attain this after only four editions. Continuing the trend of firsts, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon recently earned the World Athletics Gold Label ahead of tomorrow’s race — officially becoming the first full marathon in Africa to achieve this historic feat.

The World Athletics Gold Label is awarded to races that satisfy the international body’s requirements in terms of quality of organisation and management and a host of other criteria.

With its Gold Label Status, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon joins other races like the Osaka Marathon, the Tokyo Marathon, Zurich Marato Barcelona, the Hannover Marathon, the Enschede Marathon, the Vienna City Marathon and the Belfast City Marathon on the World Athletics table of Label races for 2023.

To the organiser’s credit, they have made each edition of the marathon count, extending the impact of the competition beyond the participating athletes. Access Bank has leveraged the global event to execute laudable sustainability-led projects, including its HIV testing drive targeted at impacting over 20,000 individuals through the 2023 edition of the marathon. In 2022, the Bank successfully conducted 10,000 HIV tests deepening efforts to curb the widespread HIV pandemic that had plagued the continent for many years. Staying true to its ethos of inclusion and diversity, the headline sponsor has consistently pushed the limit of athlete participation, encouraging involvement in the professional wheelchair race, which has seen hundreds of people participate in recent years.

Tomorrow’s edition promises to live up to the lofty standard of previous editions and assures participants in the 42km full marathon and 10km race. However, for those who will attend the marathon to have fun, you are not left out, as Niniola, Zlatan and UK sensation, Tega, have been confirmed to deliver premium post-race entertainment.

Indeed, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has become more than a race to a marked finish line; but a path to global relevance for Africa and all parties involved.