NIGERIA’s foremost female marathoner Aderonke Olumudi has her eyes set on winning the top prize at the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon and she is not scared of local and foreign elites.
Tipped to be the first Nigerian to finish at the 2016 edition and give the foreign elite a tough fight, Olumudi got injured in the run up to the race. The pain of being a spectator in a race she has all it takes to be a front runner is still fresh in her memory.
Speaking from the United States of America where she is currently training for the February 11 race, Olumudi says she has what it takes to finish among the top 10 at this year race.
“I was injured towards the end of 2015 and was unable to prepare for a full marathon.
“But I am fit, ready and injury free to race this time and I have been training, marathon and road races is my job and I am looking forward to it.”
Olumudi who has competed against some of the best marathoners in world in the last few years, claims she is not scared of the foreign elite athletes despite their intimidating pedigrees.
“I have competed against some top marathoners and finished ahead of them, so running in my country will even give me added advantage to excel.
“It is not going to be easy because full marathon is not just about your strength; you have to understand the technique as an athlete.
“Hopefully, I will be back at home ahead of the date so that I can train under the Nigerian weather before February 11, the date of the marathon.”
Olumudi is currently training with some top athletes from other parts of Africa and such experience would help her to excel.
According to her, it is possible for a Nigerian to win the race as they have the strength, just that they lack the motivation.
She applauded the organisers of the marathon, Access Bank and the Lagos State Government, for a wonderful competition.
“Although I didn’t participate in the last race, I followed everything and some of my friends took part, it was well organised, kudos to the Access Bank and Lagos State Government.”