As the countdown to the 2017 Lagos City Marathon begins, the first Nigerian male marathoner to cross the finishing line at the 2016 edition, Philibus Sharubutu is hoping to replicate the same feat come February 11th.
Sharubutu’s feat at the 2016 Lagos City Marathon earned him invitation to 2016 Paris Marathon and Doha Marathon.
He says the experience garnered from his international outings will come to bear in his performance at the 2nd edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
He said: “I am preparing well for the forthcoming Lagos Marathon. I just commenced full training this week because I ran two marathons in November, and needed some time to recover. First was the Doha Marathon which I ran on the 11th, where I placed 10th overall. I then competed in the International Jos Marathon on the 27th which I won.
“In fact I have recorded a lot of improvement because I shaved off about 4 seconds from my Personal Best (PB) of 2:32.41 at the Jos Marathon. I finished among the Top 40 at the Paris Marathon last April, so racing in both Paris and Doha have really helped me. My plan is to retain my title that’s why I’m working this hard for it.”
It will be recalled that Sharubutu surprised many athletics buffs by beating more experienced Emmanuel Gyang to become the first Nigerian to cross the finish line. Sharubutu is not only confident of upstaging Gyang once again, but beating the world best.
He said: “The 2016 Access Bank Marathon was Gyang’s first time of running the 42km, so he isn’t too familiar with the tactics involved, and that was why I came from behind to beat him. His strong area is the 10,000m and the 21km. I also defeated him at the Jos Marathon which he led for the better part, before I came once again from behind to beat him. The 42km is my race, so I’m confident of beating and staking a claim to the ultimate title at the 2017 Access Bank Lagos Marathon.”