Okpekpe Organisers Thrilled By Silver Label Status


*IAAF gives reasons for status elevation

Organisers of the annual Okpekpe International 10km Road Race are thrilled that their efforts at promoting road running in Nigeria have been recognised by the world governing body for athletics, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The Okpekpe race was granted a silver label status for next year’s event by the IAAF which makes it the first road race in Nigeria to be so recognised and the first in the West African sub-region as well as the second road race ever in Africa to enjoy a silver label status.

”We are truly delighted the IAAF has recognised our effort to promote road running in Nigeria. Our mission is to ensure we get more Nigerians involved in road running so that we can restore that tradition that we had in the past when Abbas Mohammed was a then truly world-class 2:16 in the full marathon. We are happy a couple of road races have sprung up and one of them has actually been recognised as well by the IAAF. This is our greatest joy,” said Dare Esan, the spokesman for the Okpekpe race who revealed organisers of the event will continue to make use of technology to ensure they continue to set benchmarks for future races in Nigeria nay the West Africa.

“We launched a tracking application last year which helped fans, friends and relations to follow the progress of participants at the fifth edition of the race last May. It was a completely new experience we designed to engage the athletes and the fans. The application offered mobile features designed to address three core digital needs: information delivery, sponsor activation and race day experience. It was unprecedented in the history of road races in Nigeria,” Esan revealed.

Meanwhile, the IAAF has given reasons why it has accorded the Okpekpe race another historic status following its elevation from a bronze to a silver label race.
Alessio Punzi, the IAAF Road Running Manager in an email sent to the promoter of the race, Mike Itemuagbor recognised the role played by the event’s organisers to promote elite road running in Nigeria nay the West Africa region.

”In recognition of the role played by your event for the promotion of elite road racing in your region, and of your efforts towards the improvement of the technical aspects of the event, the IAAF is happy to inform you that the Okpekpe Road Race 10km is upgraded to IAAF Silver Label status for 2018,” wrote Punzi in the email following the application for an upgrade from a bronze to a sliver label race submitted by the organisers.

The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the first road race to be granted a label status by the IAAF and it is the only IAAF silver label race in the African continent following the elevation of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon to a gold label status early this year.

The sixth edition of the race will hold on Saturday May 12, 2018 at Okpekpe near Auchi in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The race is powered by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.

It is the first and only road race in Nigeria that has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and recognised as one of the prestigious road races in the world.