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Okpekpe 10km Race: Kenyans Dominate Race

Though no new record was set at the 10th Okpekpe International 10km Road Race on Saturday, but expectedly Kenyan Men and women dominated the race that was held in Okpekpe town, near Auchi in Edo state.

In the men, Kenyan  Pingua Zak ayo Edward returned a time of 29.31 minutes to win the top price of $15,000, while his compatriot, Isaac Kimpemboi placed second in 29.36 minutes and won $8,000. Alex Olotiptip placed third in 29.37 minutes to cart home $5,000.

The women event was dominated by the Kenyans. Gladys Kwanbuka blaize the trail in 33.05 minutes with Regina Wambui second in 33.38 minutes, while Sheila Cherotick placed third in 34.27 minutes. 

The women won the same price money as their male counterparts.

In the Nigerian category, Francis James Musa won in 30.46 minutes and won half a million Naira as price money with Israel Sadjo, the defending champion, placing second in 31.51 minutes and won N300,000. Dung Elijah Emmanuel was third in 32.20 minutes to cart home N200,000.

The Nigerian women were led by Patience Daylop Mwavwang, who successfully defended her title in 37.07 minutes. Yilmunen Nicholas Gokun placed second in 37.23 minutes while Blessing Shambo Solomon placed third in 37.28 minutes.

(05/27/2024) Views: 233 ⚡AMP
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Sadjo, Mwavwang set to defend Okpekpe race titles

The duo of Ismael Sadjo and Patience Mwavwang will be seeking to successfully defend the Okpekpe international 10km titles they won last year.

Sadjo ran 31:53 to win the event last year but will need to be at his very best and prepare to break 31 minutes for the first time in his career to ward off the challenge that will be posed by Francis James who ran 30:47 to win the 10km race at the Lagos Access Bank marathon in Lagos in February.

Gang James Boyi (30:51) also ran inside 31 minutes in Lagos will also be in Okpekpe to challenge for the title.

Sadjo’s best in Okpekpe was the 31.06 he ran to win at the inaugural edition of the race in 2013 (before the label status) and a repeat performance could earn him the title for the second straight year.

For the women, David Abiye will challenge Mwavwang for the title but the defending champion will hope to get the better of her in-form challenger just like she did in Lagos last February in the 10km race at the Lagos Access Bank marathon.

Mwavwang ran a new 34:43 lifetime best (probably a new Nigeria record) in the race and will hope to become the first Nigerian woman to break 34 minutes over the 10km when she runs in Okpekpe.

Multiple winners, Deborah Pam will not be available this year as she has taken a leave off the road for procreation.

Stephen Nuhu, a long distance running coach who will accompany the athletes to Okpekpe is confident Nigerian athletes can get over the 30 minutes line and become internationally recognized very soon.

“The athletes have been training very well and I am confident they will soon become recognized as international elite athletes very soon which will make them available for other label road races around the world,” he said and praised organizers of the Okpekpe road race for always having the welfare of the Nigerian elite athletes among their top priorities.

“Okpekpe race organizers offer our athletes accommodation and transport subsidy, something we don’t get in some of the other races in Nigeria except the 10km road race we ran in Ilesha about two years or so ago,” he revealed.

There will be over a N100million  on offer as prize money at the race for the top five finishers in each gender category for the international elite field as well as for the Nigerian elite runners will battle for the prize money.

Winners in each gender category will go home with $15,000 while second and third place finishers will be rewarded with $8,000 and $5,000 respectively, with fourth and fifth going home with $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

For the Nigerian elite athletes, a top prize of N500,000 will go to the winners of each gender category. Second to fifth place will be rewarded with N300,000, N200,000, N120,000 and N80,000 respectively.

Okpekpe road race, run over hills and tarred roads, starting from Apana Road and ending in Okpekpe town is the first road race in Nigeria to have its course measured by a World Athletics certified course measurer and the first to be granted a label status (bronze in 2015) by World Athletics.

This means Okpekpe road race is the first internationally recognized road running event in West Africa. It was upgraded to a silver level label staus in 2018 before it moved to gold in 2023. 

It is thus the first gold label 10km race ever run on Nigerian soil.

(05/24/2024) Views: 231 ⚡AMP
by Harrison Beeby
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Ebenyo Laments Injury Has Stopped Him from Defending Okpekpe Road Race Title

Kenyan athlete Daniel Ebenyo has expressed sadness over how injury has stopped him from becoming the first man to successfully defend an Okpekpe 10km International Road Race title.

The Kenyan top runner is also lamenting his inability to be the first man to break 28 minutes at the race after setting a 28:28 course record in 2023.

The 28-year-old won the men’s title last year and had promise to return to Nigeria this year but an injury he sustained in training means he will not be in Okpekpe to defend his title.

“I had a dream to be the first man to defend my title and and run another course record but definitely I can’t again,” wrote the Kenyan in a message to the Okpekpe race media.

Ebenyo, like the good sportsman that he is, is wishing the athletes who will compete for honors this year all the best.

“I am  hereby wishing all the runners all the best and may the best athlete win,” said  the  defending champion.

Ebenyo also has nice words for the organizers of the world-class, gold label 10km road race.

“Okpekpe is always a bridge and a mother to all races in Africa. God bless Okpekpe and God bless the organizer of the race. See you next year,” wrote Ebenyo who made the podium at both the World Athletics Championships in Budapest and World Athletics Road Running championships in Riga after emerging Okpekpe race champion last year.

This year’s race is the 10th in the series and organizers have assured of another world-class event come May 25 in Okpekpe in Edo State of Nigeria.

The race is the first road race in Nigeria to have its course measured by a World Athletics’ certified measurer  and the first in West Africa to be  granted label status to depicts its world-class status.

(05/16/2024) Views: 293 ⚡AMP
by Sport
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Race organizers have confirmed additional financial bonuses for record-breaking performers at the Okpekpe road race 10k

Financial bonuses for record breakers at 10th Okpekpe International 10km Road Race.

Daniel Simiu will be one of the athletes making a return to the race, having won the previous edition in style and he will be looking to impress one more time.

As per the race organizers, athletes who break the course, African or world records will be awarded bonuses of Ksh 262,300 ($2,000) and Ksh 655,750 ($5,000) respectively.

This is an additional amount to the prize money which is about Ksh 2.6 million (between $15,000 and $2,000) for the top five finishers of the race. The winners of the race have the honor of walking away with about Ksh 2.8 million if they manage to break the African/world record.

The men’s course record currently stands at 28 minutes and 28 seconds (28:28) and it was set last year by the World 10,000m silver medalist Simiu who displayed a great run and he will be looking to lower it and walk away with the bonus.

The women’s course record stands at 32 minutes, 41 seconds (32.41), and was set in 2014 by Ethiopia’s Wude Ayalew.

The men’s African/world record stands at 26 minutes, 33 seconds (26:33) and was set by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto in 2020 while another Kenyan, Agnes Jebet Ngetich holds the women’s world record of 28 minutes, 46 seconds (28:46) that set back in January this year.

As quoted by New Telegraph, Zack Amodu, the Okpekpe international 10km road race director revealed why the performance bonus has been introduced to this year’s race.

“This year, we have the $2,000 and $5,000 performance bonus to be earned by any man or woman who breaks the course record and African/World record respectively.

“Last year, we saw how Daniel Simiu moved very close to running a sub-28 minutes on his way to setting the 28:28 course record.

“We are motivating the athletes to run a little faster with the introduction of the performance bonus as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the competition,” he said.

(05/13/2024) Views: 315 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Daniel Simiu targets historic victory at Okpekpe Race amidst high expectations

Daniel Simiu aims to defend his title and make history at the Okpekpe 10km Road Race in Nigeria.

World Half Marathon silver medallist, Daniel Simiu, is setting his sights on making history at the upcoming Okpekpe International 10km Road Race, scheduled for May 25 in Okpekpe, Edo State in Nigeria.

Following his record-breaking win last year, where he set a new course record of 28:28, Simiu is not only looking to defend his title but also to become the first man to successfully do so in the history of the Okpekpe race.

"I am interested in returning to Nigeria to run at the Okpekpe race. Nigeria is like my second home,” the 28-year-old athlete remarked as per The Guardian.

When asked about the possibility of breaking his own course record and potentially becoming the first man to run under 28 minutes at Okpekpe, Simiu remained modest yet hopeful.

“Maybe I will try,” he said, leaving fans wondering if this year’s race will witness another groundbreaking performance from the Kenyan.

Since clinching the Okpekpe title, Simiu’s career has been on an impressive trajectory.

He went on to secure a 10,000m silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and added a half marathon silver medal at the World Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia, to his accolades.

His season started with a victory at the 67° Campaccio-International Cross Country, followed by a dominant performance at the National Police Cross-country Championships and Sirikwa Classic Cross-country.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Okpekpe Road Race, and organizers are promising an event filled with glamour and entertainment, aiming to make it the best edition yet.

“The technical and administrative organisation of the event have been applauded by World Athletics with the elevation of the event to a gold label status after its return from a two-year COVID-induced absence,” highlighted race director, Zack Amodu.

(03/25/2024) Views: 267 ⚡AMP
by Festus Chuma
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu flags off 9th Okpekpe 10km road race

Dare Esan, the media and activation director for the historic, first 10km road race in Nigeria says Shaibu will play a dual role at the race.

“His Excellency the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu will participate in the celebrity race,’ said Esan.

Shaibu was presented with his bib in a colourful ceremony on Wednesday at an impressive ceremony in Benin after he registered via online for the race.

“The deputy governor filled his form via the online platform like all others because he is still an active sportsman who has taken Edo state sports to greater heights.

“All eyes will be on the 53 years old to see if he will break his lifetime best in the 10km event,” added Esan

Meanwhile, Dan Oil and Petrochemicals have joined the list of corporate partners for the race.

One of the leading indigenous oil and gas companies, Dan Oil has always been associated with the race.

“We are delighted that one of the leading indigenous oil and gas companies in Nigeria whose services are tailored to meet and deliver the energy demands needed to move equipment and machinery needed  to drive the Nigerian economy is partnering with us again to deliver another world class event,’ said Esan.

The media and activation director is thrilled with the way the race has been receiving support for corporate Nigeria and believes getting the Platinum label the Deputy Governor spoke about on Wednesday will be released sooner rather than later.

“We are the first road race in Nigeria to get a World Athletics label status and this was in 2015. We are also the first to have its race course measured and the first 10km race in Nigeria to be granted a gold label status.’

The ninth edition of the race will be held this Saturday in Okpekpe, Etsako East Local Government area of Edo state.

(05/26/2023) Views: 631 ⚡AMP
by Dare Kuti
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Ethiopia’s Yasin Haji returns to defend Okpekpe 10km Road Race

Ethiopia’s Yasin Haji is seeking to make history as the first man to successfully defend the Okpekpe international 10km Road Race title. The 27-year-old has arrived in Lagos for Saturday’s race in Okekpe, Edo State.

Haji became the third, bonafide Ethiopian man to win the Okpekpe race title when he ran 29:05, the third fastest winning time in race history, to win the title in 2022.  Teshome Mekonen, who ran 28.35 in 2014 to set the race record, was the first Ethiopian to win the men’s race, while Leule Gebrselassie (29:28) became the second to win three years later. Haji, who raced to a 27:00 lifetime best in the event last year in Lille, has returned to form at the right time. 

The Ethiopian clocked 27:20 at the end of last month at the adizero Road to Records, Adi-Dassler-Straße 1 in Herzogenaurach, Germany to send a message to his countryman, Mekonen that he is returning to Okpekpe to break the course record and make history. The stage will not be for Haji alone, as a certain Kenyan, Daniel Simiu Ebenyo, will not only be seeking to return Kenya to the podium as Okpekpe race champion, but also challenge Mekonen’s 28.35 course record.  Ebenyo is one of just 14 athletes in the event’s all-time list to have broken 27 minutes when he ran 26:58 in Valencia, Spain in January 2022, and like Haji, the 27-year-old has also returned to form just in time for the Okpekpe race.

He ran 59:52 to win the Istanbul Half Marathon in Istanbul, Turkey at the end of last month and will be looking to become the fifth Kenyan winner of the Okpekpe 10km title.  In the women’s race, a new course record also looks to be in the offing following the quality of the elite cast for the event. Kenya’s Edith Jepchumba will lead the cast of athletes aiming to rewrite the 32:41 course record set by Ethiopia’s Wude Ayalew in 2014.  The Kenyan ran a 30:53 lifetime best over the distance last February, nearly two minutes inside the course record and she is the fastest athlete among the elite cast confirmed for the race.  Ethiopia’s Bertukan Welde has also ran inside Ayalew’s course record when she clocked 32:00 to come in behind Jepchumba in Castellon, Spain last February.  Abigail Jelimo will be seeking to get the gold this time after running 33.53 to place third at the eighth edition of the Okpekpe race last year.  Meanwhile, former Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police and now Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Solomon Arase, yesterday, commended owner of the Okpekpe 10km race, Mike Itemuagbor, for sustaining the world-class road running event in Nigeria.  He said: “Kudos to Mike (Itemuagbor), the great sports lover and administrator for putting the rural Okpekpe community on the map of the world. Okpekpe race has come to stay because of our brother, who has been able to sustain it over the years.”  The ninth Okpekpe International 10km Road Race will hold on Saturday in Okpekpe, Etsako East Council of Edo State. Edo State government, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Dan Oil, Petralon Energy Limited and Development Bank, back the race.

(05/24/2023) Views: 724 ⚡AMP
by Guardian Nigeria
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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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.

(05/13/2023) Views: 481 ⚡AMP
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Okpekpe International road race promises to deliver another pacesetting event in 2023

Organizers of the historic and world acclaimed Okpekpe International 10km Road Race have promised to organize another pacesetting event come Saturday, May 27, 2023.

The annual World Athletics Gold Label event returned last year after a two-year, covid-induced break and this year’s edition will be the ninth in the series after it started in 2013 as the first road running event in Nigeria, nay West Africa to have its course measured by a World Athletics/AIMS accredited course measurer and the first to be granted a (bronze) label status in 2015.

Zack Amodu, the Okpekpe Road Race director, says this year’s event will see a lot of improvement on the capacity building for Nigerians in and around Edo state it started last year.

“With the capacity we have displayed over the years in terms of the technical organisation of the race which in the first instance led to the label status we got in 2015, we decided to focus on developing more Nigerians outside those who actually do the running on the road,” said Amodu.

“Last year we organised a technical officiating course for technical officials in Benin for those in and around Edo state to enhance the pool of technical officiating officials we have in the country.

“We also used medical students of the Edo state University in Uzairue to serve as volunteers in the medical committee for the race. This has given them the practical experience needed to become better in their chosen fields.

“This year we are extending this to the students of mass communication and related courses who will serve as media volunteers while those in the physical and health department and related courses will also serve as volunteers in the technical department of the race.

“This is outside the economic benefits that are derivable from the organisation of the race,” said Amodu who revealed there will be seminars for all categories of volunteers that will be used for the race.

Amodu says organisers of the race are delighted to always set the pace for road running events in Nigeria.

“We are delighted to set the pace for road races in Nigeria and to become the first to have its course measured by a World Athletics certified measurer and the first to be granted a label status,” he said.

“We are happy to be the first road race in West Africa to be granted a label status in 2015. Our pioneering effort has had a positive impact on road running in Nigeria with as many 16 having their race courses measured by certified course measurers,” added Amodu.

(04/01/2023) Views: 699 ⚡AMP
by Guardian Nigeria
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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New Course Record expected at 8th Okpekpe 10km Road Race

 the eighth edition of the Okpekpe International 10km road race, organisers of the historic event have predicted a new men’s course record.

Ethiopia’s Teshome Mekonnen ran 28:35 minutes to set the men’s course record at the second edition of the race in 2014.

Race director, Zack Amodu, says the new rules guiding the invitation of athletes and the quality of the elite cast so far confirmed for the race point to only one direction: a new men’s and probably women’s course records come May 28, 2022, in Okpekpe.

‘One of the requirements for World Athletics elite label races is that each race must have at least five athletes per gender, irrespective of their country or territory representation, who have recorded in 2020, 2021, or 2022 at least one World Athletics legal performance within the standard set for the classification,’ said Amodu.

“For a World Athletics elite label 10km race, the standard for men is 28.27 minutes while for women it is 33.07 minutes.

“The standard for men is better than the 28.35 minutes record set in 2014 and to have at least five athletes who have run faster than that within the last three years among the elite cast for the Okpekpe race, your bet is as good as mine.”

Amodu is also confident a new women’s course record also looks achievable judging by the quality of the cast of elite women who will be in Okpekpe on May 28.

“This year’s race promises to be very explosive as far as the actions over hills and tarred roads, starting from Apana Road and ending in Okpekpe town,” added Amodu who says the quality of the organisation is never in doubt.

“For the race to be classified as one of the World Athletics elite label races, it means the organizational ability of the organisers has passed all the required tests.

‘For the avoidance of doubt, a World Athletics label denotes high standards in event organisation, safety and runner experience, application of World Athletics rules and regulations and in particular the competition and technical rules,’ said Amodu.

The historic Okpekpe International 10km Road Race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, a leader in sports marketing, sponsorship, hospitality, and rights acquisition business with operations in Nigeria.

It is the first road race in West Africa to be granted a label rating (bronze) and the first in West Africa to be upgraded to a silver label race.

(05/19/2022) Views: 1,180 ⚡AMP
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Bahrain’s Dawit Fikadu and Kenya’s Sheila Chelangat emerged victorious at the Okpekpe Road Race

Fikadu and chelangat win Opkepke, both races boasted stellar line-ups with many of the athletes boasting PBs significantly quicker than the course records of 28:35 and 32:41, but in humid conditions and on a hilly route not conducive to fast times, those mark remained intact for another year.

Fikadu, who won the Asian 10,000m title last month, was part of a large lead pack in the earlier stages alongside 2016 winner Alex Korio Oloitiptip and 2015 champion Simon Cheprot, both aiming to become the first two-time winners in Okpekpe.

The lead group passed through the half-way point in 14:13 and largely remained together for another few kilometres, but the pack started to break up as they began to ascend the uphill section for the final kilometer.

As the group splintered, Fikadu, Korio, Ethiopia’s Berehanu Tsegu and Kenya’s John Kipsang Lotiang emerged as the lead quartet. But Korio soon dropped behind and was followed by Kipsang moments later, leaving Tsegu and Fikdau out in front.

With 27:30 on the clock, Tsegu tried to forge ahead but Fikadu stayed within striking distance and timed his final effort to perfection, kicking ahead to win by one second in 29:03. Kipsang held on for third place in 29:17 with Korio following one second later in fourth.

In the women’s race, Kenyan duo Sheila Chelangat and Dorcas Jepchirchir Tuitoek broke away from the rest of the field in the opening kilometres, reaching half way in 15:49.

They continued running side by side until the closing stages before Chelangat edged ahead on the final straight, crossing the line in 33:14. As a measure of how tough the Okpekpe course is, the 21-year-old was more than two minutes shy of the 31:01 PB she had set just eight weeks ago.

Tuitoek finished four seconds behind her compatriot in 33:18 and was followed by Ethiopia’s Asifa Kasegn, who finished fourth in 33:31.

(05/27/2019) Views: 2,310 ⚡AMP
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Twenty elite runners are confirmed for Saturday’s 7th Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Okpekpe

Leading the cast of gold level running athletes are former Okpekpe race winners, Alex Korio and Simon Cheprot of Kenya. Korio won in 2015 edition (29.20) while Cheprot outran all his rivals the following year (29:47). Both are 27 minutes runners as they hold 27:48 (2017) and 27:41 (2014) respectively.

“Just last June, Cheprot ran 27.44 at Oelde in Germany and looks like he will be aiming to become the first man to win two Okpekpe titles,” said Mercy Etukudo, head of secretariat for the first IAAF road running event in West Africa to be granted an IAAF label status.

“We also have Taye Grima, one of the Ethiopians on board the Okpekpe train that will challenge the Kenyans for the title. He has done 28:33 this year (January) and looks to be among the on-form athletes who will be coming to rewrite the course record on Saturday,” Etukudo added.

For the women, another former winner, Polline Wanjiku will be leading the charge for the title and possibly set a new course record.

“Wanjiku was the winner in 2016 and ran 33 minutes, 28 seconds to win. She is one of the gold level running athletes that we hope will crack the course record on Saturday.”

Etukudo is confident this year’s race will be very explosive going by the quality of athletes confirmed and reveals why organisers of the event have gone to invite as many as 20 gold level running athletes, surpassing the 12 stipulated by the IAAF.

“You know we always go for the best when it comes to the organisation of the race. What we have done is unprecedented in the history of road running in Nigeria. To have as many as 20 gold level-running athletes in a road race in Nigeria is a record and at Okpekpe we always set new records.

“Remember we are the first to have its course measured by an IAAF/AIMS accredited measurer. We are also the first to be granted a label status, a bronze in 2015.

“We graduated to silver last year which is another first in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region.

”We have confirmed 10 male athletes and 10 female gold level running athletes, five silver level and two bronze level running athletes for Saturday’s race. We have 13 with no status as well as the Nigerian elite athletes who also come under no status. We now have the perfect stage to set new marks on Saturday.

“The last time we had athletes who ran under 29 minutes for men and 33 minutes for women was five years ago, precisely 2014 when the Ethiopian duo of Teshome Mekonnen and Wude Ayalew ran 28:35 and 32:41 respectively to set the current course records for men and women,” added Etukudo.

(05/22/2019) Views: 2,069 ⚡AMP
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Anthony Osheku Former national 800m/1500m runner and foremost athletics coach, predicts new course record at Okpekpe Road Race

Anthony Osheku has predicted new course records at the seventh edition of the IAAF silver label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race.

Osheku, one of Nigeria’s top road race experts, believes the 2019 IAAF regulations and the decision of the organisers of the Okpekpe race to seek a gold label status for the event next year will make this year’s race the best in terms of the quality of its elite field of athletes.

“The 2019 IAAF regulations have made it compulsory for all label races to have a minimum of six men and six women from the pool of athletes whose status corresponds to the label being applied for. This will ensure that a Gold Label race, for example, has at least 12 of the world’s 300 best specialists at that particular distance,” began Osheku.

“What this means is that the seventh edition of the Okpekpe 10km road race will have at least 12 gold level running athletes in attendance, that is athletes who run 27,28 minutes consistently for men and 30,31 and 32 minutes for women.

“The last time we had athletes who ran under 29 minutes for men and 33 minutes for women was five years ago, precisely 2014 when the Ethiopian duo of Teshome Mekonnen and Wude Ayalew ran 28:35 and 32:41 respectively to set the current course records for men and women,” said Osheku, who hails from Fugar, a town near Okpekpe.

This year’s race will be held May 25 in Okpekpe, Nigeria 

(05/11/2019) Views: 2,064 ⚡AMP
by Independent Newspapers Nigeria
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Organizers of the Okpekpe 10km road race wants to achieve IAAF Gold League status

Organizers of the annual 10 kilometer Okpekpe race said yesterday they want to achieve IAAF golden league status from the year 2020.

To achieve this, they said the race the year preceding must not have less than 100 athletes from 15 countries including China, United States of America, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Eritrea and others.

Addressing a press conference in Benin City, head of operations of the event, Zack Amodu said logistics and improved organization from the previous edition has been put in place to ensure a "hitch-free" exercise. On his part, head of the technical issues, Yusuf Alli said the race would live up to its bidding.

On his part, the security coordinator of the race, Austin Gbaraba said sniffer dogs, choppers and horses, would be deployed as part of security measure for the 7th edition.

He said the deployment of horses and dogs, is in addition to hundreds of security personnel that would be engaged to man strategy points, before, during and after the race which takes place on May 25.

Last year's race was won by Alex Kibet clocking 29:47.  The woman's race was won by Yami Dida in 33:01. 

(05/08/2019) Views: 2,084 ⚡AMP
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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A total prize purse of $112,000 will be on offer at the seventh Okpekpe International 10km Road Race next month

A total of $112,000US is the prize money to the top eight finishers in the men and women’s elite race with the winner in each gender category going home with $20,000 while $13,000 and $9,000 respectively will go to the second and third placed finishers.

The prizes for 4th-8th placed finishers in each gender category are $6,500, $3,000, $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 respectively.

Organisers also announced an unchanged prize money outlay for Nigerian runners at the race.

The first placed finishers in both the men and women race will go home with N1,000,000 ($2777US) while the second to the fifth placed finishers will get N600,000,N400,000,N250,000 and N150,000 respectively.

Meanwhile spokesman for the race, Dare Esan said yesterday that payment of prize money and bonuses is dependent upon athletes clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.

”Athletes running for the prize money on offer must also achieve a level of performance before they can redeem their respective prizes.

”For example, to qualify for the $20,000 top prize for the elite runners, the athletes must run 28:35.00 minutes or better for the men and 32:41.00 minutes for the women.

For the Nigerian category, the winners must run 29:04.00 minutes or better for men and 34:05.01 minutes for the women’s race,’ he added.

The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the first road race in Nigeria and in West Africa to be granted a label status by the IAAF and the only one IAAF silver label road race in Africa this year.

 

(04/20/2019) Views: 2,048 ⚡AMP
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Okpekpe Road Race 10km

Okpekpe Road Race 10km

The Okpekpe Road Race invites world-class runners from around the world in a tradition tointermix local recreational and up and coming runnerswith the best of the best. Invitation extended to all CAA Member Federations, all military and para-military have sent in entries. Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertilefarmlands or a window into the past, it is a...

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Heavy rains slowed down the field at the 6th annual Okpekpe 10K on Saturday

Kenyan runners under heavy rains on Saturday won the first, second and third positions at the 6th Okpekpe International 10km Road Race at Okpekpe in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo.   The rain almost marred the 2018 edition as it slowed down the athletes. Kibet said that it was very difficult to run under the rain but that he was happy to emerge the winner. Yami Dida from Ethiopia won the female elite category in 33:01 while Tuei Chebet from Kenya came second in 33:33.  Kipyojei Chemtai also from Kenya emerged third in 34:24. The winner of the female elite category got $20,000 while Chebet and Chemati got $13,000 and $9,000 for their efforts.     (05/12/2018) Views: 1,631 ⚡AMP
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Elite 10K field is set to go after the $112,000 purse at the Okpekpe 10K in Nigeria

Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn and Kenya’s Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei will lead a truly world class elite field at the IAAF Silver Label sixth annual Okpekpe International 10km road race scheduled for May 12 in Okpekpe near Auchi in Edo State of Nigeria. Walelegn is the third fastest man over the 10km race over the last year clocking 27:37 seconds he ran last March to win the Laredo 10km road race in Bilbao Spain.  He also clocked a 59:50 half marathon in Istanbul April 8 of this year.  He will be challenged for the $20,000 top prize money for men by the Kenyan trio of Timothy Kiplagat who came third (27:52) behind the Ethiopian at the Laredo race, Josphat Kiprono Menjo who came fifth (28:28) at the Valencia 10km road race in January and holds the fourth fastest time of all-time (27:04) and 2016 winner Simon Cheprot, who will be coming to chase history as the first man to win two Okpekpe titles.  For the women, Kenya’s Tuei will be the athlete to beat. She is the fastest woman over the distance so far this year clocking 30:57 at the  Valencia 10km road race in January.  Her time is the 36th joint fastest on the all-time list and she will be hoping to become the fourth Kenyan woman to win the title. Tuei will be hotly challenged for the top prize of $20,000 by compatriot Mary Waithera who won the Laredo 10km race last March with 31.48,the ninth fastest time in the world over the last 12 months. Also in with a chance is 2016 winner Paulline Njeku Wanjiku who, like Cheprot will be seeking a slice of history as the second woman to win two Okpekpe titles. (05/01/2018) Views: 2,083 ⚡AMP
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Runners will share in the $112,000 in prize money at the Okpekpe 10K Road Race

Athletes coming to compete at the sixth edition of the annual Okpekpe Road Race will have more cause to celebrate as the organisers have increased the prize money for the 10km Road Race. The race scheduled to take place in Okpekpe near Auchi, Edo State on May 12, will see athletes share $112,000 as prize money, $22,000 more than the $90,000 on offer during the last edition, according to the organisers. In the new outlay, the winner in each gender category will be going home with $20,000 while $13,000 and $9,000 respectively will go to the second and third placed finishers. Spokesman for the race Dare Esan says the increase in the prize money is inevitable because of the elevated status of the race. (02/23/2018) Views: 1,780 ⚡AMP
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