Why The Annual Okpekpe International10Km Road Race/Marathon Makes Me Smile

The Okpekpe Road Race/Marathon started five years ago when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was the Governor of Edo state.

COMRADE ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE WITH THE STATE GOVERNOR BOTH RUNNING FOR ORPHANAGE AT THE 2017 OKPEKPE ROAD RACE/MARATHON

 

GOVERNOR GODWIN OBASEKI, #THEQUIETSTORM, THE GOVERNOR OF EDO STATE LAST YEAR BEFORE BECOMING GOVERNOR RAN FOR HEALTH.

And it gladens my heart that the present Governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, has taken the race as seriously as his predecessor.

The race means a whole lot to me, not just because it is being done in my home/birth state, but also because it is annually organized and done in a town near the popular Auchi the seat of the perceived king of the Etsako people. Okpekpe I am actually very proud to say is close to my place Uzairue, in Etsako, Edo state, Nigeria.

I am sure by now you can sense I am very proud to be an Edo girl and especially an Etsako girl, so the economic relief and social recognition this race/marathon annually brings to the people of Okpekpe, its environ and the entire Etsako is enough to make me smile and proud every time I think about it.

Now you can imagine how much I would have loved to be part of the race this year, only to realize I found out about the exact date really late and putting my camera and crew together for the race, from our Port Harcourt base, at such short notice would have been too much expenses for Tushspot Media to handle at the moment. But Insha Allah, next year, we will definitely be there to cover it all.

FROM LEFT: FORMER SUPER EAGLES PLAYER, VICTOR IKPEBA, LARA OSHIOMHOLE AND HUSBAND COMRADE ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE

However, I had to look for a local who was playing the role of a correspondent for Tushspot Media. This person who isn’t just from Okpekpe but also lives in the town, was the one who sent me photos and daily information about the race which had Supersports led by former Super Eagles player, Victor Ikpeba, on ground two days before the race. The Supersports crew came with the former Governor together with his wife, Lara Oshiomhole and the Deputy Governor of the state to have a one-on-one with over two thousand school children inside the new Edo state University located in a nearby town to Okpekpe called, Iyamoh.

This year the race in the both female and male category had over 5 countries, apart from Nigeria, participating, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Morocco, Turkey, Burundi, all aligned in this small town, hopeful for the First Prize money.

Imagine this, everyone of these participants from these countries told their families and friends, living around the world, that they were coming to run in a town called Okpekpe and those families and friends probably proudly told even more families and friends about this race.

THE HONOURABLE MEMBER, EDO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, REPPING THE PEOPLE OF ETSAKO CENTRAL IS PICTURED WITH NIGERIA’S MINISTER OF YOUTHS AND SPORTS, DALUNG.

This race has forever put the name of this otherwise tiny town in the hearts of these athletes and of course on the world map. Isn’t this just the right time for investors to stride into this town to harness the investment opportunities there, especially in the agricultural area?

Knowing that locals and their children look forward to this event which makes their otherwise quiet town buzz makes me smile. Knowing that this may some day spur a local to become an international athlete who will reminisce about these times and how it was all a motivation for him/her makes me smile with so much anticipation.

THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF EDO STATE, HON. PHILIP SHUAIBU RAN FOR CANCER

The truth is, even I became aware of Okpekpe town just about three years ago because of this race. I am so proud of this race being so meticulously and so well organized by natives of Etsako and knowing that certain young man (name withheld) a local of Okpekpe village has been a major organizer of such a world class event, since the inception of the race and has not faulted, rather he demonstrates the fact that we don’t always need foreigners to do these things.

My only wish now about the Okpekpe Road Race is to one day see a local winning the First Prize money.

It would put an eternal smile on my face and I can’t wait!

by: Habbiba

Culled from: https://goo.gl/RhN7t2