Only 10,000 runners across the world will be allowed to participate in the 2021 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
The race consultant and CEO for Nilayo Sports Management Company, Bukola Olopade, made this disclosure in Lagos, as he reeled out measures being taken in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Mr Olopade, the drastic reduction in the number of runners to be allowed for the 2021 race was to allow for social distancing as well as other safety protocols put in place by the relevant bodies to checkmate the further spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He said: “We’ve stepped back to take a breather and ensure that all strategies are put in place to have a race that would fit the protocols put together by the World Athletics, PTF, Ministry of Youth and Sports so that at the end of the day, we do not put brands and even the state in trouble.
“Right now, I can say we have successfully mapped out our strategies and ready to deliver a safe race,” he added.
The former Ogun State commissioner also revealed that outside the reduction of runners to 10,000, the 10km race which has always been the crowd puller since it was introduced into the Lagos Marathon has also been suspended from the 2021 race.
“We are only focusing on our flagship race which is the 42km that already has a Silver Label from the World Athletics, with what we are putting in place for 2021, we hope we can be upgraded into the Gold Label,” he said.
Beyond the usual fanfare, Mr Olopade said the goal for the 2021 race is to stage a world-class event that is equally safe for all.
The Lagos Marathon usually attracts almost 100, 000 runners in its previous editions.
Meanwhile, the activities for the 2021 Marathon has officially commenced with the flagging off of registration procedures on Thursday by top officials of the Lagos State Sports Commission.
The Executive Chairman of the Sports Commission, Sola Aiyepeku, alongside the Director-General, Oluwatoyin Gafaar, was honoured with the first two entry forms for the 2021 race.
Mr Aiyepeku praised the ingenuity of the organisers for mapping out modalities for a safe race adding that Lagos State is making a big statement to stage the 2021 race.
The Lagos State Sports Commission boss added that more information on modalities for the 2021 race will soon be made public.
The 2021 Lagos Marathon is scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 13.