Thousands race for N92m prize money in Lagos City Marathon •I am here to win —Kenyan star Kiptanui Too Chobeis

Posted by Adeyinka Akintunde, Lagos | 6 February 2016 | 4,678 times

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Thousands of enthusiastic runners have taken off from the National Stadium Lagos as the 2016 Lagos Marathon race finally got off the blocks at 7:10 a.m. — only 10 minutes behind schedule.

Over 20,000 runners registered to participate in the marathon, which was last held over 30 years ago. The 42-kilometre race terminates at the Eko Atlantic City and has a total prize money of N92 million.

Among the participants are elite athletes such as Josphat Kiptanui Too Chobei of Kenya, who believes that he will win the race. The winner of the 2015 New Taipei City Wanjinshi International Marathon race said ahead of the big race about to be flagged off (scheduled time was 7am but Daily Sports reports that it is yet to start a few minutes past 7): “I am having a long race, and I do my training two times a day, and sometimes three times a day.”

Kiptanui, who arrived Lagos Thursday evening with other elite athletes, spoke during a press conference at the Teslim Balogun Stadium secretariat of the Local Organising Committee (LOC). He disclosed that he changes his trainings at different times to adjust to different weather conditions. He also heaped praises on the organisers, saying: “This marathon is one of the best. The organisers are very good.”

Fridah Lodepa, also a Kenyan, equally said she is prepared for the big race. The winner of the 2014 Aba Half Marathon in South-East Nigeria has a personal best of 2 hours, 40 minutes and 14 seconds, which she got in Kuala Lumpur, in 2009. She disclosed that she has undergone 25 kilometres, 30 metres and 45 kilometres in training.

For the weather, Lodepa said she is used to it. According to her, “Sometimes I run in Asian countries (Asia countries are very hot, sometimes 35 degrees). But the last time I ran here (in Aba, Nigeria), it was not as hot as Asia. Here (Nigeria) is better than Asia; Asia is very hot.”

Another Kenyan star, Philip Kiplagat Biwott, dismissed the chances of a Nigerian emerging among winners of the race. He advised Nigeria to look for a good coach that will train their marathoners if they want to win marathon races like the Kenyans and Ethiopians do.

Biwott, who has a personal best of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 27 seconds in full marathon, suggested that athletes in Nigeria “can find a coach to train them, and everyday they train about 30 to 35 kilometres; in the morning they train 20 kilometres, in the evening they train 10 kilometers.”

•Photo shows marathoners.

Source: News Express

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