Organisers move Abuja International Marathon to 2023 second quarter
Organisers of the Abuja International Marathon, earlier scheduled to hol on December 17, 2022, has announced the postponement of the race to April 2023.
Race Director, Olukayode Thomas, in a statement, yesterday, cited security considerations for the shift in date of Abuja’s first international marathon.
Thomas said everything was in place for the marathon in the FCT, adding, however, that the security threat warning issued by the American Embassy and other foreign missions in Nigeria on October 23, 2022, has necessitated the change in date.
“We have already put everything in place to organise a great race. Our route has been measured and calibrated by Norrie Williamson, one of the best route measurers in the world. We have also signed on about 120 foreign elite runners and about 200 locally and thousands of runners, both avid marathoners and fun runners, but we have to be cautious following the security warning that terrorists are planning to attack an athletics event in the FCT.
“Our race is the only athletics event planned for the FCT, so, we have to go back and restrategise,” he said.
Thomas revealed that the organisers have met with top security agencies to find a way around the situation and prevent the postponement, not only because of the efforts Unicentral Resources Generation Limited and the FCT has put in place to organising a successful race, but because of runners, managers, sponsors and other stakeholders in the marathon and road races, who have invested so much in the race.
“Unfortunately, the security agencies insisted on postponement and advised that the best time to organise the race is after the elections.
“We did all we could to avoid this unfortunate postponement and make history by organising the first international marathon in FCT, but the security agencies advised that we postpone it.
“As a responsible organisation that places premium on human lives, we have no option but to listen to experts in the security matter.
“We sincerely apologise for the inconveniences we have caused runners and other stakeholders in the industry. A new date will be announced soon. The race will hold shortly after the elections, most likely in April 2023, probably the last Saturday of the month,’’ Thomas said.