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Okpekpe 10km mountain race holds 27 May, to run on gold label



By Jethro Ibileke

Organisers of the Okpekpe International 10 kilometres mountain race have scheduled the annual event to hold on Thursday, 27 May, 2023.

The Gold label international competition which is in the 9th edition, holds in Okpekpe, in Etsako West local government area of Edo state.

The State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, announced the date while briefing journalists in Benin, the state capital.

He disclosed that competitors in the 2023 edition will run on Gold Label for two purposes: prize and a course, namely, awareness for Cancer and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

“We are happy that the Okpekpe road race is kept alive as we are getting closer to our target to make the race diamond label.

“2023 race will be on gold label as we put in our best in make the race the best in the world. I will not be participating for a prize but I will be running for a course which is to create awareness for cancer.

“Apart from running for a prize, you can run for a course. I encourage those that cannot run for the prize to run for a course to encourage people to go for cancer screening and HIV testing for early detection.

“We have gone beyond the race as we have also brought in students to use sports sharpen their knowledge and reduced social vices in the society,” Shaibu said.

He, however, assured the athletes of adequate security throughout the duration of the event.

According to him, “Adequate Security measures have been put in place to ensure that all residents and visitors, including athletes coming into the state for the race are all safe and protected.”

On his part, the Race Director, Zack Amodu, said that athletes from about 10 countries are expected to take part in the competition.

Amodu disclosed that the athletes are expected to arrive Lagos on May 23 from where they would proceed to Auchi on May 24 to familiarize themselves with the environment before the main event on May 27.

He said: “Last year we organised a technical officiating course for officials with a view to enhancing the pool of the technical officials we already have in Nigeria.

“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.”

The chairman, Sports Marketing Organizer, Mike Itamuagbor, in his remarks, said the race would be run on Gold Label because the race has gone international.

“The road race this year has added few innovations as we would be partnering with Edo University where about 200 students will work as volunteers for the game in the area of accommodation, medicals and media,” he said.

The Chairman of Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Ali noted that the Okpekpe road race has brought much honour to Nigeria.

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