Though the main act, the 2016 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, will not flag off until 6 February, the main lead up activities to the first full international marathon in Nigeria in 30 years, Lagos City Marathon Expo, started on Monday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
First of its kind in Nigeria, Marathon Expos are integral of big marathon races worldwide with major marathons such as New York, Dubai, London, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, Berlin drawing thousands of vendors and exhibitors annually.
The theme of the Lagos City Marathon is Hospitality, Wellness and Wellbeing. Over the weekend, some of the exhibitors were seen mounting their stands in readiness for Monday, the day one of the Expo.
Corporate organizations and government bodies expected at the Expo include Access Bank the title sponsor of Lagos City Marathon, Gsk, Ladel’s Baby Centre, Airtel, another sponsor of the marathon, Food Clique, Oniru Family, Eko Hotel, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, SuperSport and a host of others.
Tayo Popoola, the Lagos City Marathon Head of Events and Ceremony said the aim of the marathon is to bring all the stakeholders in the Health, Wellness, and Wellbeing industry together to promote a healthier Nigeria,
“The essence of the Lagos City Marathon is not just about elite athletes, economic benefits, showcasing Lagos to the world and other good benefits that marathon will bring to Lagos and Nigeria, more than these, we also aim to promote the culture of running which scientists have proved to be beneficial to the human body, when you have healthier citizens, you have better workforce and spend less on health and healthcare”.
Popoola also revealed that all the athletes; including elite runners, fun runners and other class of runners will collect their kits at the Expo.
She also revealed that there will be food, music and drinks, while celebrities from media, musicians, actors, traditional rulers and other class of very important Nigerians will be guest of the Expo daily.
Hon. Deji Tinubu, the Special Adviser and Chairman Lagos State Sports Commission who is also the Chairman of the Organizing Committee Lagos City Marathon will formally declare the Expo open on Thursday. Curtain draws on Expo on 3 February.