Defending champions, James Zigah and Millicent Boadi retained the Accra Milo Marathon championship trophies they won last year when they edged out over 3,000 runners to win the Men's and Women's division respectively of this year's event held in Accra on Saturday.
The 42-kilometre Nestle Ghana Limited sponsored race which saw veterans like Alex Effah, Timothy Mandela who came second, and debutant David Afesame dictating the pace well into 17 kilometres, the Cantonment-based Zigah, displaying sufficient strength of character, ran from behind to win the race with an impressive time of two hours 26 minutes.
Having taken the lead around 37 Military Hospital, Zigah proved to hot for pursuers who gave the challenge after some kilometres leaving him to stretch home to victory with ease.
Afesame, who placed third showed initial promise in the morning's race which received an insurance cover of 1.15 billion cedis from State Insurance Company, with some good strides, but lost out of steam during the home stretch for Zigah and Mandela to go past him.
Gifty Koomson took the second position with the third position going to Faustina Yankson in the Women's event.
For their prizes the champions in each category had an amount of 1.8 million cedis, Nestle products and a trophy, the runners up had 1.3 million cedis while the third placed had 600,000 cedis.
Evans Oku, Charles Boadi and Maxwell Arko were the proud winners of the U-15 event in that order while Bortso Silorm, Mary Mensah and Emma Eshun also won in the Ladies category of the U-15.
They had a bursary of ¢600,000, ¢400,000 and ¢200,000 and computer accessories for their schools.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the Vice President in an address read for him said there is the need to sensitise the youth to the importance of keeping fit and healthy at all times in order to be more productive and contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of the nation.
For this reason, he said the government is sparing no effort in positively supporting the promotion of sports in the country.
He called for private sector participation in the promotion and development of sports since the government alone cannot shoulder such responsibilities.
Alhaji Mahama tasked the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure that every land demarcated for sports development is protected.
Mr Colin Taylor, Marketing Manager of Nestle Ghana Limited called on the government to give tax relief on materials used for sports development.
Mr J.N.O. Ankrah, Chairman of the Dansoman Keep Fit Club, called on the National Sports Council to pursue and nurture all youth talents, which are being unearthed yearly at the race.