After a breathtaking 2hrs 30mins 21secs of running, Gideon Goyet was the first Nigerian runner to cross the finish line at the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon which took place on Saturday, 2nd February.
Explaining how he achieved this feat, the Plateau based athlete said “It’s all about training. If you work hard you’ll win, but if you don’t work hard you will not win.”
Speaking on the race he said “The start, the route and security were all good.” Adding that “Lagos is a nice place but the weather is too hot. It is not like Jos where I come from.”
When asked to compare the performance of the East African runners to that of Nigerians he said “They are usually in the camp with people around unlike what we have with Nigerian runners. For instance, I train on my own around the house but imagine if I was in a camp with access to Doctors etc and I get whatever I need to train?
“Also, we cannot train the way they train. They train 3hours daily and we also cannot access good facilities. So running is about money. You cannot run well without eating healthy and being in a training camp with access to good trainers and training facilities.”
Although many would argue it takes more than training and access to world class training facilities and coaches, but there is no doubt that if more effort is put into ensuring that Nigerian marathoners train with the best facilities, coaches and around a marathon favorable climate they will be able to improve their running time.
It will however be difficult to beat the Kenyans and Ethiopians at running marathons because all over the world, it is what they are known for.