No fewer than 60 athletes will participate in the first Abuja international marathon, organisers have announced on Thursday.
The winner of the event that is scheduled to take place on December 17, 2022, will bag the sum of $80,000 as prize money.
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Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, Project Coordinator, Mr Femi Abegunde, told journalists that the 60 elite runners will come from all over the world.
Mr Abegunde stated that the foreign athletes will be joined by the local runners for the $80,000 prize money.
“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 a beautiful shop, which is closed. This even could have been on since 2021 if not for the pandemic that ravaged the whole world,” he said.
Also speaking during the press conference to usher in the event, Media Head, Mr Olukayode Thomas, said the benefits will surpass it as Nigeria and FCT stand to gain more than the prize money 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,” Mr Thomas said.
He disclosed that New York Marathon alone attracted more than $400million into the economy.
He added that the prize money may not be more than $ 1 million but it brings more than $400m every year.