Teacher, without coach, wants to win Ibadan City Marathon
He doesn’t have the resources to engage an athletics coach, but schoolteacher, Ahmed Kayode Abdulwahab, believes he can beat better-equipped runners to win the 42-kilometre Ibadan City Marathon sponsored by Splash FM.
The 30-year-old long-distance runner has been training in Ibadan, taking advantage of the compulsory holiday forced on the people by the COVID-19 pandemic to work on his stamina and pace.
Abdulwahab says his ambition is to compete favourably with Sarubutu Philips, Iliya Pams and the 2019 champion, Istifanus Peter for the N1 million first prize money.
Abdulwahab trains on his own with a training schedule sent to him by his Kenyan online friend, David.
“I train every morning and sometimes in the evening. I don’t have a coach but only a training plan that I am using and l know it is working for me.
“I have a marathon logbook where I record my pace, time and distance used. It was sent to me by a friend, David, who is a fellow distance runner from Kenya,” he said.
Abdulwahab has competed twice in the 42-kilometre race but has not been able to make the award-winning categories. He finished in sixth and seventh positions respectively in 2018 and 2019.
Abdulwahab, a married schoolteacher, who taught at Ansarudeen High School, Sango Road, Ibadan for four years, currently works at A-Makers College.
He had his primary school education at Command Children School, Mokola Ibadan and secondary school education at Command Day Secondary School, Odogbo, Ibadan before obtaining a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.) in statistics degree from the University of Ilorin.
Explaining his love for marathon races, he said, “l was discovered by our Games’ Master, Sgt Martins at Command Day Secondary School Odogbo Ibadan. I started with 10km and after eight months of training, I switched to 21km and after one year of constant training, I then migrated to 42km.”
Apart from the Ibadan City Marathon, Abdulwahab has also participated in the Ikogosi 10-Kilometre Race, where he ended in the fourth position; Onitsha City Marathon, where he finished sixth position in 2019; the JAC Motors 10-Km Race Abeokuta and also the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, where he ended in the sixth positions respectively.
“I combine marathon with teaching and I thank God that they allow me to train, I mean my bosses. And that is why I must appreciate Alhaji Raji, the Principal of Ansardeen High School and big thanks to Mr Quadir Showunmi and Mr. Mosadoluwa Naheem the Proprietor and Principal of A-Maker College for allowing me to train”, he noted.
Abdulwahab, who revealed that he trains every day for at least two hours, except on Sundays, added that he currently runs the 42 kilometres under two hours and 50 minutes, while he does the 21 kilometres in one hour 15 minutes and 36 minutes for 10km.