by crossriverwatch admin
Reports reaching crossriverwatch from Obudu say that Mr. Ian Mconville, the Australian high Commissioner to Nigeria is among the top one hundred mountain runners that would battle for prizes in the new race course of the Obudu Mountain Race tagged 4th African Mountain Running Championship.
Mr William Archibong, the president of the Local Organising Committee said Friday at the Obudu Ranch Resort venue for the championship at a pre-championship briefing that the 2012 race would feature top one hundred athletes to test run the new race course which “is very difficult and challenging and the winner of this year’s race would be a worthy winner”.
William who was flanked by the Cross River State commissioner for Youths and Sports Development Mr. Patrick Ugbe and Mr Bruno Guzelino, the President of the World Mountain Race said the new track consists of 12.3 kilometres for the men and 8.2 kilometres for the women. “The distance for the men is 12.3 kilometres and this consists of 80 percent of earth road and 20 percent asphalt road while the women would run on 8 kilometres which is split into 60 percent earth road and 20 percent asphalt which is in compliance with the World Mountain Race Championships track requirement”
The new race course, Mr Archibong said was designed by a team of WMR from Turkey who were in Obudu for three weeks in July and have been on the mountain since the first week of November for the purpose of perfecting the track. ‘They have done a fantastic job and we are pleased to say that we are ready for the World Mountain Race Championships that would take place here in 2014 the first of such in the whole of Africa”
The WMR team leader which designed the race course, Mr Hasaan Babac said the new course starts at the cable car station and run through a bridge, a river and slowly climbs through the mountain to the village before reaching the apex of the mountain which is the finishing point.
The course he stressed is very challenging on this occasion for the less number of runners that would feature in the race. “The track is not what it used to be and it is significant for the standard runner to train hard before participating”
Mr Ugbe, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development said the distance for the Media Race is one kilometre shortened from the usual three kilometres because of the difficult track. He said athletes for this year’s race are from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria, United States, and Australia with none from Europe.
Mr Solomon Ogba, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN President is attending the race for the first time since its eight years.
A total of 280,000 dollars would be carted home by winners
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