As the 2019 Okpekpe 10km road race approaches, the organisers of the race are looking at hosting a successful event that would earn the race yet another accolade.
The race, which holds near Auchi annually in the past six years and billed to take place again this Saturday, was the first label race – and also the first silver label race – in Nigeria and West Africa.
The organisers are hoping that after the 7th edition on Saturday, the race would attract an IAAF upgrade to gold label, which would make it the first in the whole of Africa.
Mercy Etukudo, who heads the event’s secretariat, said the organisers will stage another world class event as all logistics, both technical and administrative are in place for a bigger and better event this year.
“We are set to go. We have concluded all arrangements for a hitch-free and successful race on Saturday,” she assured Pamodzi Sports Marketing.
“We have our doping control station built in Okpekpe. It has a waiting room, a working room and toilets for both men and women since the race is mixed gender. We also have the sample collection equipment vis the collection vessels for collecting urine/blood from the athletes as well as sealable and tamper-evident bottles and lids for securing the samples.
“We have the start and finish managers whose jobs will be to set up the start and the finish area including the mobile toilets, changing facilities, baggage handling, refreshments, crowd control barriers and the timing system among other things.
“We have the starter, timekeepers, recorders and the race referee secured, as well as technical officials that have been handling the race entries and issuing race numbers and instructions.
“This is why I said this year’s race will be bigger and better because our sights are focussed on scoring another first which will be to be the first gold label road race in West Africa. Remember we are the first label race in Nigeria nay West Africa and the first silver label race also in Nigeria and West Africa,” she added.
The race will take place this weekend in Okpekpe near Auchi, Etsako East Local Government area of Edo State.