Abuja International Marathon is set to join the growing list of road races in Nigeria and also feature on the global calendar.
The Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Unicentral Resources Generation Limited are putting finishing touches to the unveil the first international marathon in the Federal Capital of Nigeria Roving Naija have been told.
The race, a full marathon (42.195 km) will start at The City Gate and finish at the Eagle Square.
It was gathered that the FCT Ministry and its partner, Unicentral have already contacted the World Athletics to recommend a Grade ‘A’ measurer who will measure and calibrate the route.
It was also revealed that the race will parade a strong elite field, about a hundred Nigerian and international elite runners, will be in Abuja.
There will also be a 5km fun and family-run to encourage the culture of running in FCT and environs.
While details are for now sketchy, Fatimah Waziri, a marathon enthusiast, who resides in Abuja applauded the planned initiative.
She said: “This is a huge achievement for this government, and I pray it becomes a reality soon. Abuja, more than any city, needs a race to showcase its beauty to the world and turn it into a global tourist destination.
“If you look at the major cities in Africa, Abuja is the only one without an international marathon. From Cairo to Cape Town, Rabat to Lagos, Dakar to Johannesburg, we are the only city missing from the international marathon calendar, yet we have one of the best road networks in Africa.”
Waziri said the race will boost the local economy, especially the transport sector and hospitality business.
“We have seen from Dubai, London, New York, Paris, Beijing, Cairo, Tunis, Rabat and lately Lagos, how marathons and road races enhance a city’s status. Today marathon is one of the criteria for judging cities as tourist destinations.” she noted.
“The health benefits of running cannot be quantifiable and more importantly, an international race in Abuja will encourage our youths, who like East Africans are highly talented in marathons and road races, to embrace it as a career”. She concluded.
FCT’s Media Department are keeping sealed lips for now as they insist to wait for the official announcement before speaking about the Abuja International Marathon,
“There will be a world press conference next month where the Honourable Minister will unveil Abuja International Marathon to the world, and then we can comment, so we advise that you wait till then.” an official of the ministry simply offered.
However, Unicentral Managing Director, Zsuzsanna Ogunmiloyo confirmed her firm is working with FCT Ministry to deliver a world-class marathon in Abuja in 2021, she promised that details will be unveiled by February 2021.Follow us on social media