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Lagos marathon 2016

KM 31 is nearing, smile
KM 31 is nearing, smile

Saturday February 6th, 2015 was the day of the 2016 Lagos marathon. Hold on a Saturday not to collide with church service on Sunday. The event, started at 7am, ran through much of the city. It started on the Mainland at the National Stadium then went through Oshodi before coming to Third Mainland bridge, the emblematic bridge of Lagos that runs on the lagoon for over 10km and offers a view on Makoko where streets are replaced by water and house are perched on wooden pillars. From the bridge one can have a look at the skyline of the islands. Then the marathon went on through Ikoyi to the Lekki Bridge before reaching Victoria Island, going back to Ikoyi before finishing on Bar beach next to the future city of Eko Atlantic.
everyone is welcome
everyone is welcome

Many participants joined the run, numbers up to 20,000 could be seen on the bibs. Kenyans arrived on first and second position; an Ethiopian arrived third. The weather was hot and it probably took a toll on the runners. The best time was 2 hours and 18 minutes.
better barefoot
better barefoot

I went to see the runners on the Lekki bridge which offers one of the rare ascents in the flat land of Lagos. It was kilometer 31 so runners were starting to show signs of exhaustion. Many walked and a significant portion was barefoot either by choice (their shoes were hurting their feet) or by necessity (some shoes did not make it through the whole stretch). In any case, the mood was very relaxed, always a smile at the ready, always prepared for a snap with fingers in the air like rappers. Three girls were walking on the sideway, wearing their bib but as fresh as roses, no sweat, make up and sunglasses on. It looked like they had not really intended to run as they said to each other "the important is not to win but to participate". On this we have to agree!

Interestingly the number of women were relatively well represented, perhaps 5 or 10%.
the important is to participate, as fresh as roses at KM31
the important is to participate, as fresh as roses at KM31
During the whole event there was restriction of movement, meaning no cars were allowed on the street which prompted an interesting article in the Punch: "stranded bride treks wedding"!


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