The wave of marathon races in Nigeria has blown to the South-eastern part of the country where Onitsha is set to host the first international marathon in that region.
According to a statement issued by the organisers, over 20,000 runners from across the world are expected to take part in the race which coincides with the popular Ofala Festival.
Chisom Okereke-Ekpe, Head of Marketing and Branding of the Onitsha City Marathon, confirmed that the race will take place on October 5.
She explained this edition will only be ‘half marathon’ while subsequent ones will include both the 10km and 5km races.
“We are starting with just half marathon this year but from next year, it will definitely be bigger with the addition of the 10km and 5km races,” she said.
“The race will start by 6.30 a.m. and registration is absolutely free for everyone capable and ready.”
According to the organisers, registration for the Onitsha City Marathon will run through till the end of September to allow for more participants.
Visit to Lagos
Meanwhile, the organisers of the Onitsha City Marathon said they will be in Lagos on Sunday, August 18 to meet selected members of the Nigeria sporting press at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.
“We know the importance of the Lagos sporting press and its environs, that is why we have chosen to have this parley in order for all to be aware of what we are planning to do,” Ms Okereke-Ekpe said.
The Onitsha City Marathon has reportedly secured the needed endorsements from all relevant professional bodies including the IAAF/AIMS following the intervention of world-renowned South African course measurer, Norrie Williamson.
Also, the Obi of Onitsha has reportedly given his blessings for this historic race.