Novermber 24 has been set out as the date for the much-expected Coal City International Half Marathon in Enugu, ahead of which organisers say extensive arragements are already being made.
Enugu State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Honourable Joseph Udedi said a total of 1,500 athletes will participate in the race, which is set for its maiden edition.
Udedi further said athletes are expected from Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and many others for the 21-kilometres race, which will have a star prize cash award of N1.2m.
He disclosed that officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), led by the technical director, Sunday Adeleye, have inspected the routes and approved them to guarantee a historic competition.
Udedi further informed that the race will commence at Michael Okpara Square to the State Assembly, Bissala Road, New Haven Junction, and on to Bush Bar Junction.
It will continue to Goshen Roundabout, Toscana Junction, WAEC, Monkey Junction, ESBS, NTA/Library, College Road, Kenyatta, Ziks Avenue, Ogui Road and climax at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Ogui Road.
He added that the state governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will feature fully in the race, which would also involve youths ranging from 13 to 32 years, while those from 40 years will participate in the endurance walk.
The commissioner said it is part of the state government’s bid to make Enugu the centre of athletics in Nigeria and hope to make the marathon an annual event.
Udedi added: “It is part of the effort to showcase the state, to showcase our rich cultural heritage and promote economic activities in the state.
“We are using this exercise to also promote sports and encourage of athletes to go into competitive sports so as to win laurels.”