Nigeria is a glaring absentee as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) holds a series of 24 one-mile runs staged around the world on June 2 as part of Global Running Day.
It will be the second year the event has taken place. The race will begin from the Pacific island of Fiji and ending 24 hours later in the United States, the IAAF Run 24-1 initiative incorporates races held in 24 cities across 24 countries on six continents to create the largest continuous one-mile run to ever take place across multiple cities in 24 hours.
In Africa, the cities chosen are Gaborone, Yaoundé and Rabat. More than 12,000 runners participated in the inaugural IAAF Run 24-1 in 2018, it is claimed, and this year the participation is expected to increase across the 24 host cities.
Partnering with National Athletics Federations, Sports Ministries, City Governments and race organisers around the world, the goal is to inspire and motivate people and communities to participate in a day of running.
After the kick-off in Fiji, the global run moves to Melbourne and then to major capital cities in Asia such as Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore and Delhi.
The Central Asian event will take place in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan before the event moves to Africa with stops in Mauritius and Nairobi.
It will then continue to Gaza in Palestine and will cross over to Europe with a stop in Istanbul followed by Copenhagen, Milan and Birmingham.
The global running campaign then moves back to Africa to Gaborone, Yaoundé and Rabat before crossing the Atlantic and reaching São Paulo, Santiago, Havana, Bogotá, Mexico and the US, prior to its conclusion in Monaco.
“With our Run 24-1 event we offer people across the world a great opportunity to become part of a global community of walking and running,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
“We know that health and happiness are often closely related to physical exercise, and I’m very happy that we at the IAAF, together with 24 member federations, will make it possible for thousands of people to run their first mile.
“And I am sure that for most of them it will be the first of many.”