Okpekpe race organizers unveil action plan for gold label 10km event

Organizers of the historic Okpekpe International 10km Road Race have unveiled the action plan for the successful organization of the ninth edition of the race which holds on Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Okpekpe in Estako East Local Government Area of Edo State.

Dare Esan, the race’s Director of Media and Activation says the secretariat for the event will open on Monday, May 22, 2023, to begin the final countdown to the first gold label 10km road race in Nigeria.

“The Secretariat will open in Auchi near Okpekpe five days before the event to prepare, among other things for the arrival of technical and medical equipment needed for the race as well as the arrival of the elite athletes,” said Esan.

The Media and Activation Director also says volunteers that will be used at the race will begin their training to ensure a hitch free race for the ninth straight edition.

‘This time around, we are going to engage more volunteers and we are partnering with the Edo State University in Uzauire near Auchi where about 200 students will work as volunteers for the race in the area of accommodation, medicals, media, transportation and technical.

“We are bringing in these students as volunteers as a way of imparting practical knowledge of management. Like the Edo state Deputy Governor, Comrade

Philip Shaibu said at the pre-race conference last week in Benin,  ‘sports sharpens our knowledge, physical ability and reduces social vices in the society.’

Esan also revealed that accreditation and medical tests will begin on Tuesday May 23 while foreign and Nigerian elite athletes will undertake a tour of the race course on Thursday.

In terms of security, Esan says all arrangements have been concluded for another trouble and crime-free event.

“We visited the Edo state Commissioner of Police, Adamu Dankwara last week in his office to conclude all arrangements while the DSS has also been contacted for a comprehensive security for the race.

‘The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, have also been contacted to secure the road and ensure a hitch free movement of vehicles and they all sent representatives to the pre-race media conference last week.

“We have been assured they will secure the athletes, officials and spectators who will be in Okpekpe and its environ before, during and after race day.

‘The Deputy Governor has also given us the assurance the race will be safe for the ninth straight edition. Comrade Shaibu said at the press conference that ‘adequate security measures are in place to ensure that all residents and visitors including athletes coming into the state for the race are all safe and protected.’

The Okpekpe international 10km road race is supported by Petralon Energy as its CSR partner, Development Bank as its official bank and Nigerian Breweries Plc as its official malt drink.

The race is the first in Nigerian to have its race course measured by a World Athletics/AIMS accredited course measurer as well as the first truly world class road race in Nigeria when it was granted a label status (bronze) in 2015.

posted Saturday May 13th