Owa Obokun to flag off Ijesha Grand Marathon
Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijeshaland, His Royal Highness Oba Adekunle Aromolaran will flag off the first Ijesha Grand Marathon race on Saturday.
The 10km road race, packaged by Beltij Nigeria Limited is the first national road race in Ijeshaland endorsed by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
Tijani Remilekun Usman, sponsor of the race says the race is one of the many projects he has embarked upon to gainfully engage the youths of Ijeshaland and make Ilesa a destination of sort for sports. He said, “I am delighted we are about to start a weekend of sports, music and dance in Ilesa. I am also happy we have been able to attract the best road race runners in Nigeria to come to Ilesa. This is huge for me and for the people of Ijeshaland. Our Kabiyesi, the Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijeshaland has graciously agreed to flag off the race.”
Usman has also fixed a musical carnival for Saturday evening featuring 9ice and Taye Currency among other notable musicians. Meanwhile national road race king Emmanuel Gyang and Emmanuel Sadjo top the list of top road race runners who have arrived for the race. Also in town is Raheem Jimoh who won the Ogbomosho 10km road race last year.
The women’s elite cast is led by Fadekemi Olude, finalist in the 20km walk at both the African Championship in Asaba in 2018 and the African Games in Rabat, Morocco in 2019. This season, Olude won the 10km race walk at the AFN All-Comers in Akure. Also in town is Mary Ajayi who won the 10km race in Ogbomosho last year.
Race director, Chief Tony Osheku says Saturday’s race will be used to benchmark other races in the region going forward.
“We have completed all arrangements for a hitch free race on Saturday. The race will be organised with relevant World Athletics competition rules and the AFN technical delegates are here to ensure strict compliance with all relevant rules,” he said. The AFN technical delegates are led by renowned coach and Performance Director of the federation, Gabriel Okon. The race will start at Ilesa stadium and finish in front of the Palace of Owa Obokun of Ijesaland.
Organisers have ensured equal prize monies for both men and women in line with World Athletics rules while there are special cash prizes for athletes who come from Osun State.