Ijebu Ode agog for Heritage Half Marathon
The town of Ijebu Ode, Ogun State is witnessing the greatest turn out of athletes as thousands of road race runners from different parts of the world gathered for the maiden Ijebu Heritage International Half Marathon.
Over 40 foreign runners, including Kenyans, Ugandans and Azerbaijanis arrived in Nigeria two days ago for the event.
The introduction of the Ijebu Heritage International Half Marathon has increased the number of road races in Ogun State to three. While the Ijebu Heritage Half Marathon holds this morning, the Abeokuta City 10km Race is scheduled for November 13 and Remo Value-Jet IAU African Championship will hold on December 14, 2021.
As at yesterday afternoon, more athletes from different parts of Nigeria were still trooping into Ijebu Ode to be part of the marathon event.
Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports Management, Bukola Olopade, told The Guardian yesterday that the large turn of athletes was good for the event.
“This event will give the athletes the opportunity to see different parts of Ijebu Ode,” Olopade stated.
Ogun State Commissioner of Sports, Dare Kehinde, stated that road races and other sports activities is one of the five-cardinal points agenda of Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration.
Among the athletes expected to compete in Ijebu Ode this morning is Kenya’s Bernard Sang, who won the 2020 Istanbul Marathon. Others include Kenya’s Hosea Chirchir Kiplimo, Rhonzas Lokitam Kilimo, Eliud Mewangi, Sammy Nyokaye, John Muriuri Mburi, William Amponsah, Titus Kipruto Kibiego, and Paul Koech.
Also listed is Uganda’s Ezekiel Chepkoromk, with a personal best of 01:01:46, and Azerbaijan’s Desta Fitsun Weldu.
The women’s category is also dominated by Kenyans, including Shila Jepkosgei, who is a World Athletics gold-label runner with a Personal Best of 01:10:58, Gladys Jepkemoi Chemweno, Caern Jebet Maiyo, Ruth Karanja, Susy Chebet Chemaimak and Hannah Wanjiru Gatheru.
According to the organisers, the Ijebu Heritage Half Marathon will starts at Tunde Debasco Road, Ejirin and ends at Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium.