The Abuja International Marathon will debut on December 17, 2022, according to the organisers of the event.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the Project Coordinator, Femi Abegunde said the Abuja City Marathon will kick off with 60 elite runners from all over the world.
According to him, foreign athletes will be joined by the local runners for the $80, 000 (N48,800,000 at the parallel market rate of N610 to 1$) prize.
He said, “The 42-kilometre race will begin from the City Gate through the interesting parts of the FCT and end at the Eagles Square, with 60 runners (local and foreign), as the winner will go home with $80,000.
“The desire to create an Abuja international Marathon is to showcase the City, attract investors, boost tourism and the economy like it is done in other world commercial cities like London and New York.
“Our desire is to create a Marathon that can compete with the best anywhere in the world. Abuja is like a beautiful shop, which is closed. This could have even been on since 2021 if not for the Pandemic that ravaged the world.”
Also speaking during the press conference, the Media Head, Olukayode Thomas said Nigeria and the FCT will benefit more from the programme, through the visitors that will throng the country.
“The event goes beyond prize money as hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers, retailers of goods and other business owners will benefit a lot.”
He disclosed that New York Marathon alone attracted more than $400 million into the economy. He said the prize money may not be more than $ 1 million but it brings more than $400 million every year.
He said prizes will be given to the best coverage among the media, before and during the event in 11 categories.
In attendance at the event were the Managing Director of the organising company, Unicentral, Ogunfumiloro Suzana; a representative of the National Assembly, Senator Ayo Akinyelure; a representative of the FCT Minister, Lucas Istafanos, and a host of others.
Saharareporters, New York