Professional runners hoping to make quick money or win other prizes in the 10km category of the 2019 edition of the Lagos City Marathon must have a rethink.

Bukola Olopade, who is the organiser of the Lagos race said on Tuesday that professional athletes are barred from the 10km race.

He said: “Any athlete registered by AFN, the IAAF or any other federation elsewhere in the world including state athletics associations are ineligible to participate in the 10km race, if they do and win, they will not get any of the prizes.”

The 10km races start at the Lekki Roundabout and finish at the Eko Atlantic City, Lagos.

Olopade, who is the Project Consultant, said apart from promoting the city of Lagos, encouraging tourism and other socio-economic benefits, the Lagos Marathon was conceived because of the immense health benefits that comes with running, walking and jogging.

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“We want our people to embrace exercise, running, jogging and walking as a way of life because of the immense health benefits that comes with it. That is why one of our sponsors, Kia Motors, is giving away two cars to winners of the 10 km race and our other sponsors are also giving millions of Naira as prize money.”

Olopade said if ordinary fun runners in Ajegunle or Ajah can win a car or millions of Naira, it will encourage others to embrace the culture of running as they will aim for the prizes, and by so doing, enjoy the health benefits of running.

“Healthy citizens mean a more productive workforce and less spending on healthcare by government, thus money for healthcare can be channeled to other areas of need,” he posited.

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