Organisers of the historic Okpekpe international 10km road race say they are delighted seeing a number of road races in Nigeria getting World Athletics recognition.
As many as 16 road races have been certified by World Athletics in Nigeria following its last update in December 2022.
‘We are delighted to set the pace for road races in Nigeria and to become the first to have its course measured by a World Athletics certified measurer and the first to be granted a label status,’ says Zack Amodu, the Okpekpe race director.
World Athletics’ classification of road races began in 2008. The classification means label road races are those World Athletics designates as one of the leading road races around the world.
Okpekpe international 10km road race started in 2013 and two years later was among the 88 in the world granted a bronze label status. ‘We are happy to be the first road race in West Africa to be granted a label status in 2015. Our pioneering effort has had a positive impact on road running in Nigeria with as many 16 having their race courses measured by certified course measurers,’ added Amodu.
The Okpekpe race director says organisers of the race will continue to come up with ideas and innovations which other road races in Nigeria can learn and borrow from as they continue to ensure road running becomes a culture in Nigeria.
Amodu thanked the Edo state government who provided the infrastructure that made the race possible as well as corporate citizens and individuals who have been supporting the race. ‘ The result of your support, both financially and otherwise is the positive development we are seeing in road running in Nigeria.
‘With the support, we are building a culture of healthy living and fair competition. We are also helping to positively engage our youths who are now earning a living from their passion.’ Amodu also appreciates the athletes and technical officials who have made the race not only the first world class road running event in West Africa but also the best in terms of its technical and administrative organisation.
‘Without the athletes and officials, we will never have come this far. They are the reason the race has been such a huge success.’
The ninth edition of the gold label Okpekpe international 10km road race will hold in Okpekpe town in Edo State on May 27, 2023