World Renowned Grade A Measurer, Williamson Foresees Gold Label Status For Lagos Marathon
Organisers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have been advised not to relent but continue to strive harder in order to get more global recognition for the event.
The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon in four years of existence has achieved what others of its kind have never achieved as it has been able to graduate from zero level to Bronze Label race and lately it has been accorded Silver Label status by the World Athletics.
While applauding the organisers, the sponsors and indeed the host, Lagos State Government for getting to this height within a very short time, Norris Williamson, a World Athletics/AIMS Grade A measurer believes that in no distance future the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will secure the Gold Label status.
P.M. EXPRESS reports that Williamson, a South African, was the World Athletics/AIMS top official who certified the routes of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon before the first edition.
“I can see this Lagos City Marathon moving into the next level of global recognition from the present Silver Label to Gold Label status. This can be achieved if the tournament is properly managed as the organisers are doing and they should continue to do more. I’m sure the Lagos event would continue to meet the necessary criteria for the Gold Label status by attracting the best elite runners from all over the world to Lagos.
“For record purpose, Label System works on the basis of technical correctness on the part of the organisers, good media coverage for the race, the enthusiasm shows by the community and the solid back of the host by the host government., that is a strong synergy between the organisers and the host government. All this I see Access Bank Lagos City Marathon having, and I am so enthusiastic about this marathon getting to the next level very soon. I can see the race growing year by year,” said Williamson, who had in the past measured the marathon routes for the Atlanta, Athens and Beijing Olympic Games and several other marathons and road races across the world.
P.M. EXPRESS reports that World Athletics Label Road Races are races that the World Athletics designates as one of the “leading road races around the world.
The Labels are assessed and awarded each year. Race organisers have to apply to the IAAF for recognition, and show that their race can meet a number of criteria. The criteria vary for the different levels; Gold Labels have the strictest requirements, followed by Silver, then Bronze. All three categories require what the IAAF describes as an international elite field, that requires at least five nations (four for Bronze) to be represented by runners with times faster than the IAAF’s guidelines.
Additionally, the race course must be closed to vehicular traffic, and measured to the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) standard, with full electronic timing used to generate the results. The race must be organised in a way that minimizes ecological damage to the surrounding areas. A specified number of doping tests must be carried out, and prize money for the participants should be equal, irrespective of gender or nationality, though additional rewards can be given to runners from the host nation.
The Labels are considered a prestigious award by race organisers.