A frontline marathoner, Alex Kanu, on Sunday, gave pieces of advice on how to improve on the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, especially the starting block which he claimed to have been below standard.
The Namibia-based Kanu, who participated in the just-concluded marathon on Saturday, said that though the start off was bad there were other positives to point out to.
“I had my desired race because I did prepare well enough, I ran with confidence and relaxation though I did not meet the expected time of return because I was unable to monitor.
“One of the things I will like the organisers to take care of is the starting point. The starting point was too rowdy which caused the stampede at the beginning of the race.
“This type of starting point is unacceptable, the escort should not have been in the midst of the runners, this was the reason for the stampede. The escort should have stayed beside.
“Giving the elite athletes is a required standard, while others join them, but the escorts should not have been within the runners,’’ he said.
Kanu, who has participated in Belgium, Holland, Namibia and South African marathons, however, said that the just-concluded marathon was a success comparatively.
“I have participated in many marathons across the world, including Belgium, Holland and when I came back to Africa, I participated in the Two Ocean in South Africa and Namibia.
“My first time experience with Nigeria’s marathon was great aside the starting point. I love the chips that were strategically placed in about three or four places; that is the standard.
“This will help to detect those that may want to play funny game by shunting the race. It is quite commendable. I also like the great hospitality and the organisation, they are of required standards.
“The fact that there were refreshment at every specific point on the routes and also the provision of the ambulances are great,’’ he said.
Kanu said that contrary to his expectation that Lagos could be a bit rowdy, his was surprised and impressed to see the decent organisation put up by the organisers.
“I expected to see the kind of rowdiness we have in Lagos, but the organisers did well to keep it decent taking away the big Molue of the streets.
“I will like to come back for another marathon next time though I won’t aspire to win it, I am coming for the fun of it and enjoy the race,’’ he said.