The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) have confirmed May 13,2017 for the fifth edition of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race.
For the second year running, the race is the only IAAF Label Road Race in Africa listed in the January to June calendar of road races released by the IAAF while this year AIMS listed the race as the only one in Nigeria whose course has been measured by an IAAF/AIMS accredited measurer.
“This is great news for us albeit we were expecting it,” said Dare Esan, spokesman for the race.
“As the only road race in West Africa with a label (Bronze) status and the only one certified by AIMS, it is thus expected that we will be listed in the calendar of both the IAAF and AIMS.”
Esan is also delighted world records can be set and accepted by the IAAF at the Okpekpe race.
”The criteria for world records includes strict measurement criteria and you know accurate course measurement is a basic requirement of AIMS membership so runners can enter an AIMS/IAAF road race with the full knowledge that the course will be accurate,” Esan further revealed.
Esan is optimistic Okpekpe’s AIMS membership will offer more marketing opportunities as well as international exposure.
“Last year we were at the IAAF Road Running Seminar in Cardiff, Wales where we got a booth and a table to market the race to the rest of the world. That was a one-off event. With our membership of AIMS we now have many opportunities to do that as AIMS members are expected to offer a table or booth at their race expo for the exclusive use of other AIMS members,” said Esan.
“With our promoter being an international sports marketer and race promoter, Okpekpe will definitely take advantage of this opportunity as AIMS has offered us the platform from which we can effectively promote our event to overseas markets,” Esan further hinted.
This year’s race will hold in Okpekpe, a town in Etsakor East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. It is located about 25 kilometres northeast of Auchi.
Last year, Kenyans swept the male and female titles on offer with Alex Korio winning the men’s event 29:20 ahead of Leigh Gabriesileshe of Ethiopia compatriot Amos Muteh while Tanui Nkele also of Kenya came first in the women’s race with a time of 33:34.