By, AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
Determined to achieve its objective of becoming the first race in Nigeria to have an elite men’s field that will return a sub 2:10 minutes, the Abuja International Marathon (AIM) has confirmed the signing of four gold labelled runners, two men and two women.
This was disclosed by Abuja International Marathon Race Director, Olukayode Thomas who is also in charge of the race media and publicity.
Thomas told our correspondent on Wednesday, that the Chief Executive Officer of Unicentral Resources Management Limited, the licensee of Abuja International Marathon, Zsuzsanna Ogunmiloyo, who is also the race Managing Director signed the contract with runners on behalf of Abuja International Marathon.
Thomas revealed that Andrew Bren Kimtai with a personal best of 2:08 32 tops the list. Kimtai has won many races around the world including the prestigious Wahun Marathon and Venice Marathon.
Gilbert Masai with a personal best of 2:09: 49 is another male runner that has signed to run in the Abuja International Marathon on December 17,
‘’ Our Managing Director Mrs. Ogunmiloyo is finalizing details with nine other men gold label runners. Once the details are finalized, their names will be released to the media. We have also signed agreements with two female runners, Caroline Jepchirchir with a personal best of 2:26 and Naomi Maiyo with a personal best of 2:30’’.
Thomas disclosed that the target is to get 21 gold label runners identified to sign contracts with Abuja International Marathon before the end of August.
‘’ Our race is scheduled for the last quarter of the year, a busy period for marathons and road races around the world. During the last quarter, we have London Marathon, New York Marathon, and Berlin Marathon toward the end of September and we are all looking for runners that will raise the profile of our race from the same World Athletics elite field. So it is important that we tie down runners that agreed to compete early’’.
Thomas disclosed that ‘’with the three pacers that we have contracted also gold label runners, our dream of being the first race to achieve a sub- 2: 10 minutes on Nigeria soil is achievable’’.