Nigeria: Abeokuta to host first 10km marathon in Ogun state
By Taiwo Adelu
London, July 29, 2019 (AltAfrica) – Ogun State, South West Nigeria has once again hit another milestone on the global stage of sports with a unique major marathon race scheduled to hold in the ancient city of Abeokuta on Saturday, 3 November, 2019.
It was recently that organisers announced that the state will be hosting the first-ever Remo 2019 Value Jet International 50km Ultra Race in Ogun State. The state is playing host to another marathon race tagged ‘JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Race 2019’.
Alternativeafrica.com understands that the 10km race has already been licenced by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).
“The JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Race will go down in the history of marathon race as the first-ever race in the world which IAAF will licence before the race is held. The reason is that when the IAAF officials came for the inspection of the routes, they discovered that the routes have the best stretch with unique topography,” said Bukola Olopade, the CEO of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, the organiser of the event.
Nilayo Sports is also in charge of the Remo 2019 Ultra Race and has been a major facilitator of the annual Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, an IAAF Bronze labelled race.
Olopade disclosed that the race will run through its starting point at Onikolobo, from Iyana Oloke junction through Omida Market, leading up to Ake Junction, through to the iconic Itoko around Saje, with the Alake’s Palace as the finish point.
Olopade, who was a former Commissioner of Sports in Ogun State, said different sponsors are supporting the race with the Government of Ogun State leading the pack, while JAC Motors is the headline sponsor of the competition with others such as Landwey Investment Limited, Bet9ja, an online bookmaker company in Nigeria, Rite Foods Limited, and IBD International Hotel, Abeokuta.
Olopade said that just like the Lagos City Marathon used to shutdown the Nigeria’s commercial city on the day of the competition, the JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Race is going to shutdown the city on 3 November.
“We want to replicate the glamour associated with the Lagos City Marathon in Abeokuta on 3 November this year. This is a race that will change the lifestyle of the people, create healthy living and boost the tourism potentials of the ancient city of Abeokuta and its environs. I am very grateful and emotional bringing the race which will involve athletes from all over the world to Abeokuta. Our plan is also to take the visiting athletes to some notable tourist centres in around Abeokuta especially the famous Olumo Rock,” Olopade said.
Initially, organisers were expecting about 30 elite athletes across the world to feature in the one day event, but Olopade revealed that the number had reached an unexpected 100, while registration has hit over 3,000 at the last count with growing enthusiasm from Nigerian participants.
He revealed that the prize money has been categorised for the winners with the first runner to cross the tape in the elite athletes’ category winning $5,000, while $3,000 and $1,000 will go to the second and third place winners respectively.
The first Nigerian to cross the tape, however, will go home with the sum of N2 million, while the second and third place winners will pocket N1 million and N500, 000 respectively.
The organisers also planned to encourage and reward special athlete runners with the first person to cross the tape getting the sum of N500, 000.
Olopade further disclosed that the race will be a unique historical event as all the traditional rulers in Egba Kingdom headed by His Royal Majesty Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III, the Alake of Egbaland, have endorsed it.
The Project Manager of the event, Seyi Johnson said that the routes of the race have been marked by the world-renowned IAAF marathon measurer, Norrie Williamson, while the race, already endorsed by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), is duly certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS)