With the record, no marathon in Africa has ever had international athletes compete.

Race general manager Yussuf Alli said athletes from Europe, East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Asia and South America have registered for the race.

The former African long jump record holder added that the elite athletes would have been more than that if they had not closed the entries early.

He said: “Elite entries would have been more, if the organizers had not regulated it to a minimum size more than a week ago. Towards effective and efficient race management. The large size was expected in one of the effects of a Carrera Gold-Label and Nilayo Sports Management is ready for it.

“And from the field of registered international Elite athletes, the organizers have officially invited 47 world-class male and 29 female athletes who will lead the field of top-class athletes in the race. While the rest will compete to pursue Gold-Label status as they continue on their quest to earn the international points needed to achieve top-class Elite status as they grow professionally.”

Yussuf, revealed that the goal of the race is to achieve “Platinum Label” racing status, which only elite athletes can achieve.

He noticed that; “The Lagos City Marathon’s quest to achieve Platinum Label race status, which is foremost in the wishes of the organizers, Nilayo Sports Management Ltd, will be boosted if two elite male athletes can finish the race in less than 2 hours and 10 minutes and three female athletes finish in less than 2 hours and 12 minutes.”

However, as part of the build-up to the first Gold-Label race in Nigeria, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Expo will kick off this morning at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere.

During the Expo, registered runners will receive their race numbers and kits, in addition to a series of displays geared towards race success.

Others include health talks and other events geared towards the successful organization of the race.

The Expo will take place from Monday to February 2.

The Gold-Label Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will start at the National Stadium, Surulere, for the full marathon.

There will also be a 10km race, which for the first time in Nigeria will see elite athletes compete, as the organizers will use the race to apply for Gold-Label race status for the 10km.