Race Director of Ile Ife Heritage Marathon Organization (IHMO), Adedayo Akinbode has said that no fewer than 150 athletes; both Nigerians and foreigners would participate in the first edition of the International Marathon Race holding on February 4th, 2018 in Ile Ife, Osun State.
Akinbode, at NUJ Press Center, Osogbo, said lle Ife Heritage Marathon is a destination marathon borne out of a desire to showcase to the world, the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba people through the century old Ile Ife matchless iconic heritages.
She posited that, “The marathon race event would also presents unique opportunities for visitors from within and outside Nigeria to have first-hand contacts with many Ile-Ife’s iconic cultural sites and values. It will also provide ample opportunity to introduce sports to the growing population of residents as a platform of social development.”
She therefore urged any interested participant to register for the with the fee of N16,500 for Nigerian and $53.60 for expatriate.
Akinbode contended that the marathon race is of International Athletics Standard of 42.195kilometers distance.
Also speaking at the press conference, the State of Osun Commissioner for Social Protection, Sports and Special Needs, Mr. Comrade Biyi Odunlade expressed the support of the State Government for the first edition of International marathon in the State.
He said “There are three key objectives to this program; this kind of initiative was part of six integral point agenda the governor in building healthy life for every citizens of the State; for made know the cultural heritage we are blessed with in the State and to boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.”
While giving route for the marathon, the Commissioner said, “Commencing from the Obafemi Awolowo University premises, the expected 150 runners will weave their way through the campus premises and the ancient city to sight some of the world’s eye-catching historical icons like the world famous bronze head locally known as ‘Ori Olokun’, ‘Opa Oranmiyan’, the 42FT of Moremi and the bust of legendary Yoruba Sage, Obafemi Awolowo, before heading for a royal welcome for a royal welcome of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi in his Palace.”
Odunlade gave the assurance of adequate security for athletes and other stake holders involved in the marathon.
He said, “During the International marathon the routes will be partially block. Nigeria Police, Road Safety and other paramilitary will be on ground to prevent breakdown of laws and order.”