The world male and female champions will be in Calabar.
The reigning world mountain running male and female champions, Mamo Petro of Eritrea and Andrea Mayr of Austria, will be among the cast of elite runners who will compete for the $50 thousand top prize on offer at the 8th Obudu international mountain race which holds on Saturday, November 17, at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu, Cross River State.
Petro, who together with his country man, Teklay Weldemariam, raced to gold and silver at the 28th World Mountain Running Championships in Vallecamonic, Italy, two months ago, will lead the cast of male athletes; while Mayr, who came tops in the 8.8km race among 88 women participants at the championships, will be staging a return to Obudu.
Mayr was a fourth place finisher in the second edition of the race in 2006 before emerging the best two years later with a new course record of 51.14 minutes.
The Obudu Mountain race Local Organising Committee member and Cross River State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Patrick Ugbe, expressed delight at the confirmation of the two top mountain runners in the world.
“We are very delighted that the two best mountain runners in the world this year have been confirmed for the 8th Obudu international mountain race. This is a confirmation of the growing popularity of the race the world-over as well as the confidence the world mountain running family has in our ability to organise a world class event,” Ugbe said.
He said a host of other top class runners have signified interest in competing at this year’s event and that the LOC is busy sorting out some of the entries received.
“I think this year’s race will witness a large number of world class mountain runners than in the previous editions.
“We also want the likely cast we will have when we host the WMRA Championships in 2014 to be around this year and next at the Obudu international mountain race,” he said.
The Obudu international mountain race is organized by the Cross River State Government in conjunction with the Athletic Federation of Nigeria, AFN. It enjoys support from the African Athletics Confederation, CAA, the World Mountain Running Association, WMRA, and the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF.
The race this year will cover a distance of 12 kilometres uphill to an altitude of over 1,575 metres above sea level.