Over 200 runners from 18 countries are expected to feature in the maiden 50km Remo Road Race holding on December 7.
According to the organisers of the race, an additional 3,000 indigenous participants are expected in the five-kilometre version of the race.
These were some of the revelations made by the President of International Ultra Race (Africa), Solomon Ogba of Nigeria who is the immediate past president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
The race, being packaged bythe patent owners, Nilayo Sports Marketing Limited will have Value Jet, an emerging airlines in Nigeria, as the main sponsor, hence the competition is tagged “Value Jet International Africa Ultra Race Championship Remo 2019”
The CEO of Nilayo Sports Marketing, Bukola Olopade said all effort will be put in creating awareness for corporate and Nigerians’ participation, adding that more of road races are needed in the country.
He pointed out that such competitions, held mainly outside the urban areas, help in capacity building for rural areas as roads will be mended while infrastructures like medical facilities are also fixed.
Ogba also added that the race would also have tourism impact while also bring some commercial values. It is the first time an ultra race will hold in Nigeria, but the IAAF Measurer, Norrie Williamson who measured the 50km route of the Remo Ultra Race, informed that it had been in existence in South Africa for 35 years.
Ogba, a former President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) was so happy that this maiden edition of the ultra race is holding in Nigeria and it is in Remo land.
He said: “We shall mobilise all runners all over Africa down to Remo 2019. This event is a unique tournament when looking at the advantage of the rural setting we have in Remo land which is full of rich history and cultural heritage.
“Our plan is to have this first edition and then move for it to become the Africa qualifying tournament for the World Cup. I believe that someday we will have a World Cup being staged in Remo land,” he said at a media event held in Sagamu, Ogun State.
The technical aspect of the race is being handled by a Nigerian athletics legend, Yusuf Ali who is the technical manager.
Also in the team is Olympic Games medalist, Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo. Bukola Olopade said all effort would be put in creating awareness for corporate and Nigerians’ participation, adding that more of road races are needed in the country.
Falilat Ogunkoya assured the organisers that the people of Remo land, her place of birth, are ready to support and mobilise for the successful hosting of the maiden Africa Ultra Race Championship.