Organisers of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Silver Label Okpekpe international 10km road race have announced an improved prize money outlay for the sixth edition of the event which holds on Saturday May 12, in Okpekpe near Auchi, Edo State.
In the new outlay, a total of $112,000 is on offer as prize money to the top eight finishers in the men and women’s elite race with the winner in each gender category going home with $20,000 while $13,000 and $9,000 respectively will go to the second and third placed finishers.
The prizes for 4th-8th placed finishers in each gender category are $6,500, $3,000, $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 respectively.
Spokesman for the race Dare Esan said the increase in the prize money is inevitable because of the elevated status of the race.
“Remember this is the only IAAF Silver Label road race in Africa this year and one of only 10 confirmed by the IAAF for the first half of this year. The requirements for organising a silver label road race is different from what obtains for a bronze label event.
”At the semi-highest level that the silver label is, the IAAF expects not only gold or silver level elite runners to grace the event but also a perfect technical organisation of the race”, said Esan who is confident the organisers of the event will pull off a race worthy of a gold label.
“At Okpekpe we have always attracted the best legs to run at our event. Ethiopia’s Leul Gebrselassie who won the men’s race last year has moved up to become a gold level runner in the full (42.195km) marathon.
“He ran 2:04:02 to come second at the IAAF Gold Label Dubai Marathon last month in his first official race at the distance to become the second fastest man in the event so far this year and the 11th fastest in the all-time list”.
Esan also revealed a new prize money outlay for Nigerian runners at the race.
“The total prize purse of N1.1m paid out last year has been increased to N4.8m this year with the first placed finishers in both the men and women race going home with N1,000,000 while the second to the fifth placed finishers will get N600, 000, N400, 000, N250,000 and N150,000 respectively”, he said.
“The payment of prize money and bonuses is dependent upon athletes clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.
“Both the elite and semi-elite runners running for the prize money on offer must also achieve a level of performance before they can redeem their respective prizes.
“For example to qualify for the $20,000 top prize for the elite runners, the athletes must run 28:35.00 minutes or better for the men and 32:41.00 minutes for the women. For the Nigerian category, the winners must run 29:04.00 minutes or better for men and 34:05.01 minutes for the women’s race”, he added.
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the first road race in Nigeria nay West Africa to be granted a silver label status by the IAAF and the only one recognised by Association of International Marathons.
The race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.