Representatives of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Monday completed the inspection and marking of routes as the Government of Enugu State finalized plans to host the first ever Coal City Marathon in the sublime hilly capital of the old Eastern Nigeria.
The AFN team, which arrived the state over the weekend, went through the routes marked for the 21 kilometre half marathon and expressed satisfaction with their findings, saying the new addition to Nigeria’s athletics calendar will go a long way to help athletics development in the country.
This is happening even as the Enugu State Government also announced a total prize money of $20,000 (N7.2 million) and other consolation prizes for winners at the coming event.
AFN’s technical Director, Sunday Omotayo Adeyeye, who led the AFN inspection team, described the route marked for the marathon as one of the most crafty he had ever seen, adding that such will go a long way to reinforce the credibility of the new sporting event.
Adeyeye, who highlighted the importance of marathons in sports development and healthy livingurged the Enugu State Government to work harder towards ensuring that the new sporting property rises in prominence for eventual listing in the global athletics calendar.
Earlier in his address, Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Enugu State, Hon Joe Udedi said the State was embarking on the project to reinforce its status as frontliner in Niegria’sathletics history.
Recalling the exploits of the likes of Davidson and Osmond Ezinwa, Hon Udedi said Enugu State had in the past, produced athletes that went on to make Nigeria proud at global events such as the Olympics, saying that the vision of the Governor Ugwuanyi administration to initiate the Coal City Marathon provides an opportunity to showcase its capacity in Sports, culture and hospitality.
He announced that the November 24 race will commence from the historic Michael OkparaSquare, Independence Layout Enugu and terminate at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium. He added that a website for registration of participating athletes had already commenced, with over 1,500 registered as at the time of the announcement.
On the prizes for those that will emerge champions, the Commissioner revealed that first prize winners for both male and female participants will go home with the sum of $3,500 each while the runner-up will receive $3,000 each. There are also prizes for the second runner-up as well as other consolation prizes for the top 10 male and female runners, he also announced.
He said the State Government is putting in place every measure geared towards a hitch-free marathon, with the Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Tourism as well as the security agencies collaborating to ensure participants and visitors to the State leave the with exciting experiences.