New Course Record Expected at 4th Okpekpe Race


Organisers of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race have predicted new men and women’s course records next month when the fourth edition of the IAAF Bronze Label race holds in Okpekpe Edo Stat
In 2014 Kenya’s Teshome Mekonnen and Ethiopia’s Wude Ayalew ran 28:35 and 32:41 respectively to smash the course and the Nigerian all-comers record of 29:39 and 33:01 set a year earlier at the inaugural edition of the race.

“Last year at the third edition of the race the Kenyan duo of Korio Alex Olotptip (29.20) and Tanui Anfele (33.34) failed to race past Mekonnen and Ayalew’s records but all that will change this year,” said spokesman for the race, Dare Esan.

“The quality of the elite athletes confirmed for this year’s race is such that we cannot even rule out a new world lead come May 7. Many of the gold and silver level running athletes confirmed for the race have ran faster than the course records set by Mekonnen and Ayalew in 2014.

“Edwin Kiprop Kiptoo of Kenya, a gold level running athlete holds a personal best of 27:44 set in 2014 in Nairobi while his compatriot Morris Munene Gachaga is even younger and faster with 27:27 achieved in Casablanca, Morocco.

“For the women’s, Buzunesh Gudeta’s 31.27 also set in Casablanca will guarantee a new course record and places in the top 10 of the IAAF top list of performers for the year,” added Esan who further revealed that one of the female athletes confirmed for the race, Edith Chelimo of Kenya is the third fastest woman over the distance so far this year.

“Chelimo is actually the woman athlete to beat because of her form ran over a 10km race. She is number three on the IAAF top list of performers for 2016 with her 31.07 run in Brunssum in the Netherlands early this month.

“Apart from the course record, the target before the athletes will also be the 27:42 men’s world lead set by Bedan Karoki Muchiri of Kenya last February in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the IAAF Gold Label World’s Best 10km race and the women’s 30:29 set by Violah Jepchumba also of Kenya early this month in Praha, Czech Republic,” said Esan.

With the first-of-its-kind deal signed with MYLAPS Sports Timing, a Netherlands-based internationally recognised automatic sports timing company to provide the race with an easy to use, accurate and reliable timing system, all participants are ensured of flawless timing at the race.

“This will give the race more credibility and reconfirm its status as an IAAF label race, the only Bronze label race in Africa in 2016 and one of only two IAAF labeled races in Africa this year after the Cape Town Marathon in the fourth quarter of this year,” Esan concluded.

The Okpekpe International 10km Road Race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, a leader in sports marketing, sponsorship, hospitality and rights acquisition business with operations in Nigeria.