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Beyond the track: The impact of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon


There are many things to love about the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: the picturesque scene of the Eko Atlantic City that greets you at the finishing line; the Gold Label status of the race that gives you something to brag about to your grandchild (that is if you do participate); the elite athletes you get to run with, and of course, the prize money— the thought of carting away $50,000 (Elite race) or N3,000,000 (10km race) is quite tantalizing, yunno.

The many charms of Africa’s premier road race, however, are not limited to just these. For the past eight years, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has significantly impacted the economic tenor of Lagos State and Africa through its touristic appeal, drawing thousands of sports tourists, athletes, sponsors, and businesses to the city of Lagos. This year will be no different.

This February, we will witness thousands of people pour into the resplendent city of Lagos to compete in one of Africa’s top road races. This year, the Marathon allows participants to choose between three races, depending on what is best suited to their capabilities: a full marathon (42KM), a half marathon (10KM), or a wheelchair race.

According to the Chief Communications Officer, Access Corporation, Amaechi Okobi, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon serves as a platform for athletes young and old to showcase their talent and excel on a global stage.

“The Marathon has provided a platform through which we show the world that great things do indeed come out of Africa. This year, we are taking our commitment a step further by providing training and support for participants who come from underprivileged backgrounds.

“As Africa’s gateway to the world, we consider it our responsibility to provide a globally recognised platform for sportsmen and women, to showcase their talents,” Okobi affirmed.

The 42KM and 10KM races will start at the National Stadium, Surulere and the Grace Court Garden Events Place, Durosimi Etti, Lekki, respectively. The races will take athletes on a journey that show off the sights and sounds of Lagos before terminating at the picturesque sand shore of Eko Atlantic City.

The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon highlights Lagos State and Nigeria by extension, as a viable investment destination by creating platforms for local businesses— from food and drink brands to hospitality stalwarts and recreational centres. This, in turn, brings a healthy revenue boost as spectators and athletes use transportation services and buy souvenirs from local artisans.

The Marathon not only has economic impact, but also amplifies sustainability initiatives like the HIV/AIDS test drive. In 2022, the drive impacted 10,000 people and will continue to do so in the upcoming edition with a goal of reaching over 20,000 individuals. This year’s Marathon will feature a recyclable pickup along the 10km and 42km routes to support the Bank’s commitment to cleanliness. Additionally, the inclusion of refugees from across Africa in the race, will raise awareness and support for their cause, aligning with the Bank’s goal of helping people in difficult circumstances.

If none of these features entices you, you can show up for the premium post-race entertainment delivered by Niniola, Zlatan and UK sensation Tega. So, lace up your sneakers and prepare for a memorable experience.