Registration of athletes for the ninth Okpekpe international 10km road race is still ongoing, organisers of the race have announced.
The ninth edition of the gold label race will hold on Saturday May 27, 2023 in Okpekpe in Edo state, south south Nigeria and organisers of the race believe a new course record should be expected.
‘Registration is still ongoing for the historic race and athletes have been registering for different reasons,’ says the media and activation director of the race, Dare Esan.
‘Athletes can register to run for any cause as the race is not all about running for the prize money. All over the world people have seen the power of sport to raise funds and awareness about any project or cause and the Okpekpe road race has been a very veritable vehicle for achieving this purpose,’ said Esan.
Esan says the category of runners have been expanded to encourage the participation of people around Edo north in particular and Edo state in general with prize money awarded to the first three finishers.
‘This year athletes who are from Okpekpe and Ora in Edo north should indicate so in the registration form as there will be prize money for the top three winners in each of the two categories.
‘This is done to encourage and identify talents who can be nurtured to become good enough and compete all over the world for money and honours’.
Esan is confident a new course record will be set at the ninth edition of the race.
‘The quality of elite athletes who have registered for the race can only produce times that the race has ever witnessed.’
‘Ethiopia’s Teshome Mekonnen ran 28:35 to set the men’s course record at the second edition of the race in 2014 while the women’s record is 33.07.
‘We are going to have athletes who are in the top 10 of the world list for 2023 running in Okpekpe, athletes who have ran 27 minutes plus for men and 30 minutes plus for women. The names of these athletes will be revealed very soon,’ said the media and activation director.
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the first road running event in Nigeria to have its course measured by a World Athletics/AIMS accredited measurer and the first to be granted a label status.
The race was awarded a bronze label status in 2015, seven years after World Athletics started classifying races into categories.
‘World Athletics Label Road Races are races that the world governing body for athletics designates as one of the leading road races around the world.