—Restates commitment to upgrading annual 10km race to silver label
Organisers of the annual Okpekpe international 10km road race have congratulated the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on the elevation of the 42.195 kilometres race to an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Gold Label event.
Last week organisers of the marathon announced that it has been awarded an IAAF Gold Label Status, the first road race in Africa to enjoy such a status.
"Organisers of the IAAF Bronze Label Okpekpe International 10km Race congratulate Janet Welham, the race director of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, and the Sanlam Brand, sponsors of the event, on the award of a gold label by the IAAF.
"This is historic and a testament to the fact that Africa can organise road running events that meet intenational standards," said Dare Esan, spokesman for the 10km road race.
“Gold Label status is the highest and most stringent standard awarded by the IAAF, the international governing body of running and we at Okpekpe are inspired and motivated to ensure the only other road race in Africa with a label status, the Okpekpe international 10km road race passes the silver label test for next year. This will further solidify and elevate the event's status to one of the very best in the world and it will be a true testament to the meticulous organisation and passion of the entire team, its partners and sponsors for the past five years."
For the past three years the Okpekpe international 10km road race will take place under the prestigious IAAF Road Race Bronze Label and it still holds its
position as the only road race in Nigeria nay West Africa to receive this prestigious award.
"Each year IAAF awards the leading road races in the world label status to enhance quality of the races. The award is based on a wide range of criteria; including technical requirements to secure health and safety of participants, achieve high results, certain media and promotion requirements and many more. We fulfilled the IAAF bronze label criteria for the first time in 2015 and we have been meeting the requirements since then,'explained Esan who insists the race promoters target now is the silver label.
''This year the race became an AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) member and the 10km race course has been measured according to international standards.In fact the Okpekpe 10km race is the only road race in Nigeria whose race couse has been measured by an IAAF/AIMS accredited course measurer.And this,we think is the final piece in the process of getting the silver label status.
"Our motto for the fifth edition of the race which holds on Saturday May 13 in Okpekpe near Auchi in Edo sate of Nigeria is 'the silver this time' and everything is being done technically and logistically to ensure we score another first in Nigeria and west Africa."