Unicentral commends FCT minister for awarding AIM hosting rights to firm
Managing Director of Unicentral Resources Generation Limited, Zsusanna Ogunmiloyo, has commended Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, for awarding the Territory’s only slot for full marathon (42.195km) to her firm.
A statement by the Race Director, Abuja International Marathon (AIM), who is also the Head of Media and Publicity, Olukayode Thomas, said Unicentral’s management and staff are grateful to Aliyu, who, after thoroughly examining bids and presentations, chose Unicentral’s bid and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to give the firm the sole right to organise the only full marathon in FCT for the next five years.
Ogunmiloyo, who is also AIM’s Managing Director, said Aliyu’s approval is in line with the best global practices and standards approved by the governing bodies of athletics and marathons and road races in the world.
The world’s biggest marathon destinations such as New York, Tokyo, Dubai, London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Chicago, Boston, Dubai and – nearer home Lagos, Nairobi and Durban – all have only one full marathon.
Ogunmiloyo said: “The logistics involved in the organisation of a full marathon is huge, especially partial closure and total closure of the entire route for the duration of the race. That is why most cities have one full marathon and other races are half-marathons, 15km, 10km, and 5km.”
Ogunmiloyo assured Aliyu and the entire management and staff of FCTA, residents and visitors to FCT that Unicentral will organise a world-class race.
‘’Our dreams for Abuja International Marathon are very high, but we know they are achievable,” she said. “That is why we have headhunted some of the best brains in marathons and road races in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world for this project. They have been working on the project for the last three years and the results are feasible.
“We are the first full marathon in Nigeria to have our route measured and calibrated by AIMS and World Athletics before the first edition because we have experts working on the project. We have runners’ friendly routes for all our races.
“We are also the first to organise an all-inclusive race. We will have for the first time in Nigeria on December 17, 2022, a full international marathon, a 10km and a 5 km. This is a first in Nigeria.”
Ogunmiloyo also announced that the elite field for Abuja International Marathon is capable of running sub-two hours, 10 minutes race, which will be another first in Nigeria.