Athletes from seven countries are expected to participate in the third edition of the Okpekpe Road Race coming up on Saturday, May 16 in Okpekpe Edo North Local Government Area, surpassing the minimum of four countries recommended in marathon of this magnitude by IAAF.
The Technical Director of the race, Yusuf Ali, told Extra Time that this year’s race will be unique because athletes from Ethiopia, Kenya, Norway, Morocco, Eritrea, Malawi and Nigeria will be taking part.
He said the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) secretariat moved to Okpekpe on Sunday to start accreditation and putting in place finishing touches to preparation.
“We are ready for this year’s race and we are expecting over 3000 athletes in Okpekpe. The issue of security, medical, transportation and accommodation has been solved.
“We are also expecting over 26 foreigners to take part in the race,” Ali stated.
The Technical Director of AFN said top-ten finishers of the marathon will be tested for drugs as the race will he supervised by IAAF officials.
“The Edo State governor will as usual run the 10-kilometer race along with other top government functionaries and the winners of both the men and women races will receive equal prizes of $25,000 each, but the first Edo indigene to finish will take home N500,000, “ he added.
Meanwhile, Medical Coordinator of the Okpekpe 10 kilometers race, Dr. Gab Okafor, revealed that some medical personnel would be at fixed locations to offer medical services, while first response teams to give immediate first aid along the course of the race will also be available.