Lagos State First Lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, at the weekend set the record in Nigeria as the first governor’s wife ever to finish an athletic Road Race. She achieved this at the 2019 Lagos Women Run.
Ibironke Sanwo-Olu, who was earlier earmarked by the Coordinator of the Lagos Women Run, Ms. Tayo Popoola, to flag off the 10km Road Race from the Tafawa Balewa Square and run only two kilometers out of the official 10kilometres, said she was encouraged to run the whole course when she saw the multitude of women running the race from the start point.
She said: “When I saw the multitude of runners, I was encouraged to run the full distance especially when I remembered the theme of the Lagos Women Run which is all about fitness, wellness, women emancipation and campaign against domestic violence.
“I never thought I could go the extra mile but I did when I saw women younger and older than I do, running.”
Sanwo-Olu who is medical doctor said, she felt great about the exercise, “as a First Lady, I completed a 10kilometre Road Race. I salute all the women, young and old that participated in the Lagos Women Run.”
The Coordinator of the Lagos Women Run, Tayo Popoola, said “the presence of the First Lady of Lagos State, further boosted the standard of the Run and gave the Women Run added glamour, with other runners getting encouraged to complete the race.
“We were so happy as we saw the November 9, 2019 Women Run encouraged petty women traders who sold their wares from Tapioka hawkers to Ofada rice hawkers, food vendors.”
In the competed event, the Lagos Women Run for the first recorded the participation of foreign professional runners from Kenya and other fun runners from the United States of America.
The Kenyan, who won the Women Run title, Careen Cheptoeck, broke and set a new course record of 28 minutes 55 seconds. The first record was set in 2016 when Olude Fadekemi won the inaugural edition at 40 minutes 30 seconds. Olude’s course record was broken in 2018 when compatriot Rose Akusho from Plateau State, broke and set a new record of 34 minutes 35 seconds.
Cheptoeck, said she registered for the Lagos Women Run while going through a training regime in the high altitude Plateau State after her participation in the JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Road Race, with the aim of joining Nigerian women to fight against domestic violence and other vices against women in the society. The Kenyan noted that, she joined the Lagos Women Run train, to boost her preparation towards achieving the dream of winning a full marathon in the nearest future.
It was the first time a Kenyan competed in the Lagos Women R
The Lagos Women Run also recorded a landmark achievement in the Veteran category, as Nigeria’s Genevieve Njoku, emerged a two-time winner of the Veteran category title. She won first in 2018 and won her second title on November 9, 2019 at the 45 minutes 03 seconds.