The second edition of the Mangrove Marathon Race in Lagos state concluded with a 17-year-old emerging as the winner. Francis James, a 17-year-old from Plateau State, beat competitors from across the country, including Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters. James won a prize of one million naira for his achievement. David Abiye-Joyce, a staff member of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, won the women’s category of the race. The Mangrove Marathon Race aims to raise awareness for the conservation of mangroves in Lagos, and the organizers plan to expand the race in the future.
The Mangrove Marathon Race in Lagos state concluded its second edition, with a 17-year-old emerging as the winner.
Francis James, a 17-year-old from Plateau State, was declared the champion of the 2023 race, surpassing competitors from across the country.
Notably, one of his strong competitors was Omoyele Sowore, the Publisher of Sahara Reporters and a presidential candidate in the 2023 General Elections for the African Action Congress.
James’ victory rewarded him with a prize money of one million naira. The 10km eco-friendly race took place in Lekki, Lagos state on Saturday, and James’ achievement at such a young age is remarkable.
James expressed his happiness after winning and shared that he had trained for six months, emphasizing the value of practice and consistency. He encouraged his competitors to work harder in the future.
In the women’s category, David Abiye-Joyce, a staff of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, emerged as the winner. Abiye-Joyce expressed gratitude to God and mentioned her previous victories in athletic competitions for the NSCDC.
The Mangrove Marathon Race is a community-based initiative in Lagos, aiming to save the mangroves and other biodiversity hotspots. The convener, Mr Jerry Chidi, highlighted the significance of the race as a platform for stakeholders to connect and collaborate.
Mr Jerry, who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mangrove Marathon, expressed satisfaction with the success of the race. He mentioned the excitement of the youth in Ibeju-Lekki LCDA for being part of the event and creating awareness for mangrove conservation.
The Local Organizing Committee plans to expand the race in the future, with a 21km event in 2024 and a 42km event in 2025.
In his welcome address, Hon. Rasak Kasali, the Chairman of Lekki LCDA, praised the efforts of the organizers and participants of the Mangrove Marathon Race. He emphasized the value of mangroves in the ecosystem, highlighting their role as a buffer and protectors of shorelines.
Kasali also spoke about the challenges faced by mangroves due to pollution and called on local industries to prioritize environmental responsibility.
The Mangrove Marathon Lagos 2023 was held on July 29 to commemorate the international day for the conservation of the mangrove.