• Seven-Up first official sponsor
The race for the $55,000 top prize fixed for the winner of the Abuja International Marathon is heating up with over 35, 000 elite and local runners already registered for the event.
The Abuja International Marathon will hold on April 29 at the Federal Capital City. But before the race, the organisers plan a 10-day pre-event expo, which will showcase the culture and sights of the FCT, as well as the country.
Yesterday in Lagos, the organisers of the first modern marathon in Abuja, Unicentral Resources Generation Ltd., held a parley with media managers to unveil the race, which is expected to feature some of the best long distance stars from across the world. The event was also used by the organisers to unveil 7-Up as official sponsor of the marathon.
Unicentral Resources Generation Ltd., Mrs. Zsusanna Ogunmiloyo, disclosed that among the expected 35, 000 runners at the event are 120 international elite runners and 80 local elite stars, who will compete for different prizes on offer.
“The top prize winner will get $55, 000, while the second and third placed finishers will get $40, 000 and $30, 000 respectively. The prizes will trickle down to the 10th place winner.
“The local runners will also get N3 million, N2 million and N1 million respectively for the first, second and third place winners. Fourth to 10th place winners will also get graduated prizes.
“There are also two other races, which are a 10-kilomtre race that attracts N1 million, N750, 000 and N500, 000 for the first three finishers and a five-kilometre race for students that offers the first three finishers N500, 000, N300, 000 and N200, 000. Fourth to 10th position winners will also get cash rewards,” she said.
Earlier, FCT’s Director of Sports, Lucas Istifanus, said the Abuja International Marathon would showcase the best of the Federal Capital Territory, adding that every logistic needed for a world class event has been put in place by the organisers.
He said: “We chose Unicentral Resources out of over 50 organisations that applied to hold the marathon in Abuja after a careful scrutiny of their pedigree.
“We have established several sub-committees to run the show and I want to assure every participant that the security sub-committee headed by the FCT Commissioner of Police, Air Force and Army top personnel, Fire Service Chiefs, among others, is ready to protect everybody. We welcome all to Abuja on April 29.”
Also speaking on the marathon, Race Director, Marketing, Mr. John Shittu, said the marathon would show the world Abuja’s rich culture and the many opportunities in the FCT.
“In the next few weeks, we will unveil more sponsors for the marathon, which currently has 7-Up Bottling Company as the major partner.
“Marketing the marathon is a big challenge because Abuja is not Lagos, but there are hidden gems in the FCT that we want people to see.
“We have put in a lot of hardwork and at the end of the race, the world will know that Abuja has arrived.”
Also represented at the parley was Marketing Manager, 7-Up Bottling Company, Segun Ogunleye, who promised that his firm would ‘unleash’ joy on FCT residents on race day.
“We heard about another opportunity to communicate the energy of the FCT using marathon…we had meetings, heard all the fantastic talks and as a brand that believes Nigeria’s destiny is intertwined with its future, we joined the movement. So, we urge you to join us and lets get Abuja running,” he said.