Hayla Worku and Tinbit Gidey lead elite cast to Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Ethiopian duo of Hayla Worku and Tinbit Gidey will lead an elite cast of athletes to the Gold Label Access Bank Lagos City Marathon which holds on Saturday in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Worku, who will be 30 in September holds a personal best of 2:05:25 achieved when he finished third at the Berlin marathon in Germany 12 years ago. It was his only top 10 finish in any of the major marathons in the world.

The Ethiopian has ran inside 2:10 ( two hours and 10 minutes) nine times and will fancy his chances of becoming the first athlete in the history of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to break 2:10.
Last October he ran a personal season’s best of 2:11:27 at the marathon in Poland.

Worku will be challenged by a few other world class athletes led David Barmasai Tumo, the 2020 winner who holds the course record at 2:10:23 set when he won the title. The Kenyan who placed fourth at the 2011 World Championships came second last year (2:13:37) behind Ethiopia’s Ulfata Gelata (2.11.54).

The Kenyan has broken 2.10 once and that was when he ran 2:07:18 to win the Dubai Standard Chartered Marathon in Dubai.

Also set to fight for the top prize and a shot at the course record is another Kenyan, John Kipkorir Komen whose major achievement on the road came when he placed seventh at the Boston Marathon (one of the six major marathons in the world).

Komen has a personal best of 2:07:13 which he ran to win the La Rochelle Marathon, in La Rochelle, France and has gone inside 2.10 four times with the last coming 13 years ago.

Gidey will be the leading the elite women cast to the race and the Ethiopian will be looking to become the first woman in race history to go under 2.30 ( two hours, 30 minutes). It will not be an unfamiliar target for her as she has broken 2.30 a couple of times with her last (2:29:28) coming at the Zurich Marato Barcelona in Barcelona in November 2021.

The 33 year old looks like the woman to beat after running 2:30:09 at the International Marathon de Marrakech in Marrakesh, Morocco just last month.

Gidey will however be hotly challenged by Kenya’s Esther Macharia who, for the second straight year ran inside 2:30 (2:27:15) at the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, a port city on Lake Superior in Minnesota, USA last June.

Macharia ran her first sub-30 race over 42 kilometres (2:29:17) at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa in 2021.

Interestingly, the 35 year old came fourth (2:43:48) at the Access Bank Lagos marathon in 2021 and fifth (3:37:23) last year.
Kenya’s Sharon Cherop holds the women’s course record set in 2020 and which is under threat in this year’s race.

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