Still basking in the euphoria of the silver label accorded the annual Okpekpe International 10km Road Race, organisers of the race have promised to continue adopting new technology to keep the competition at par with the best of its kind in the world.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) recently awarded a silver label to the race organised by sports marketing outfit, Pamodzi. This 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.
“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 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 that the organisers would continue to employ technology 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 said.The sixth edition of the race will hold on May 12, 2018 at Okpekpe near Auchi in Etsako East Council of Edo State.