Organisers of the annual International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race have announced the prize money outlay for the fifth edition of the race which holds this Saturday in Okpekpe near Auchi, Edo State.
Spokesman for the race, Dare Esan, revealed that a total of $92,000 in prize money will be paid to the top eight finishers in the men and women’s race with the winner in each gender category going home with $15,000 while $10,000 and $7,000 respectively will go to the second and third placed finishers.
“The prizes for 4th-8th placed finishers in each gender category are $5000, $3,000, $2,500, $2,000, and $1,500 respectively,â€ said Esan who also revealed the introduction of performance bonuses to this year’s race.
â€œAthletes achieving a world leading time which will automatically translate to a new course record will be eligible for a special bonus of $1,000,â€ further said Esan.
â€œThe Okpekpe course records for the men and women race were set by Kenya’s Teshome Mekonnen (28.35) and Ethiopia’s Wude Ayalew (32:41) and we expect to have new records come Saturday going by the quality of elite athletes we have assembled for the race.â€
Esan also explained why there is a reduction in the prize money for the top three finishers for the second consecutive edition.
Two years ago, the top three finishers were rewarded with $25,000,$15,000 and $10,000 respectively.
â€œWe are concerned about the quality of athletes we invite for the race because of its status as the only IAAF bronze-label 10km road race in Nigeria and one of only two IAAF label road races in Africa this year. We have brought in athletes who can run world leading times here in Okpekpe’.
â€œWe know athletes who have attained gold level or silver level running status will demand appearance fees and that is why some of the invited athletes will be paid appearance fees. We really want to go for the best legs in the world because Okpekpe 10km road race is an international event certified by the IAAF,â€ he said.
Esan also revealed a new prize money outlay for Nigerian runners at the race.
â€œThe total prize purse of N1.1m paid out last year has been retained with the first placed finishers in both the men and women race going home with N250,000 while the second to the fifth placed finishers will get N100,000,N80,000,N70,000 and N50,000 respectively,â€ he said and noted that the payment of prize money and bonuses is dependent upon athletes clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.
The Okpekpe International 10km Road Race is the only road race in Nigeria that is also recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) because its race course has been measured by an accredited measurer using the approved calibrated method.
The race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.