Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Melvin Pinnick and Labour leader,Comrade Isa Aremu have joined the growing list of celebrity runners confirmed for the fifth Okpekpe international 10km road race which holds next month in Okpekpe near Auchi in Etsako East local government of Edo state.
Pinnick,who is also an executive committee member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) says he is thrilled to associate with a race that has become a big image laundrer for Nigeria.
‘I want to congratulate the organisers of the race,especially my brother Mike Itemuagbor for placing Okpekpe in particualr and Edo state in general as a destination point as far as international sports is concerned.What he has done with the race is incredible.He is organising a race the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have considered good enough for a label rating.And to think that it is only one of two such races in Africa that has been so recognised has made it very huge indeed,’said Pinnick who is also a member of the prestigious FIFA organising committee.
Pinnick has however revealed he won’t be running for any of the top prize monies on offer at the race.
‘I will be running for charity,’he said and revealed that he will be joining forces with some of the other celebrity runners who will running to raise awareness about cancer.One of such celebrities is labour leader Aremu who will also be running for charity.
Meanwhile organisers of the race have warned those planning to cheat at the event on Saturday May 13 2017 to have a rethink as there are adequate measures to ensure all their efforts will prove futile.
‘We are lucky we have not really had any major incident as far as cheating is concerned.We are aware road races in Nigeria are prone to this where athletes try to cut corners to achieve glory,’said race’s spokesman Dare Esan.
‘The Okpekpe race is technology-driven and we are using transponders which will help ensure you cannot beat the system.All Okpekpe road race runners will have a device on their numbered bib which tracks their location and this will be powered by MYLAPS Experience Lab,a division of MYLAPS Sports Timing,the internationally recognised automatic sports timing company based in Holland.
The Okpekpe international 10km road 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 whose race course has been measured by an IAAF/AIMS accredited measurer and has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).