FIFTY runners have so far signified signed up for the maiden Onitsha City Marathon (OCM), an event billed for October 5, in Anambra.
The Head of Media and Publicity for the event, Mr Philip Balepo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha, Sunday that most of the athletes were foreign based but are managed by Nigerians.
According to him, elite athletes, mostly from Kenya, who have so far registered for the 21-kilometer event are expected to arrive in Nigeria on October 2.
He added: “The Kenyans are not alone in their strides to add Onitsha to their list of conquered cities.
“Elite athletes from Cameroun, Ghana, Uganda and Nigerians abroad have signed up for the event.”
Some of renowned athletes include Clement Langat, Timothy Kimeli, Bernard Sang, James Ngandu, George Manyiror as well as two female runners, Lenah Jerotich and Beatrice Cherono.
Balepo noted that 49-year old Adjarho Obaro, ”the only World Wrapperman,” who runs Charity Marathons around the world would also partake in the event.
“Obaro, who runs his race with the longest wrapper of eight yards weighing 4kg, is currently on a 17-day marathon from Lagos to Onitsha.
“On arrival, Obaro will still join the rest of the world in the first Onitsha City Marathon, on October 5,” Balepo disclosed.
He added that the Archbishop of Onitsha Diocese, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke had accepted to be an OCM Patron, and promised to make the race a spectacular and memorable one.
Balepo, who described the event as the “first international marathon, South East of Nigeria,” expressed confidence that the event would help place Onitsha in the world map of sporting centres.