†To ensure a better outing and record improved time from the previous years, local athletes for this year’s edition of the annual 10km IAAF certified Bronze label Okpekpe race have intensified training on the hilly Okpekpe road and its environs.
Some of the athletes were seen training at the weekend on the road even as the road which was commissioned recently by President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari was being marked with thermostatic markings ahead of the marathon holding on May 16.
One of the athletes who volunteered to speak to reporters on the condition of anonymity said he decided to hone his skills and better his time before the race in a few days time.
According to him “although I was among the top 15 in the local category last year, and in spite of the fact that my record was far better than what I recorded two years ago, I wasn’t satisfied that I wasn’t in the medals list. I therefore decided to train very hard this year before the main race. I didn’t train much last year.
“Now that this Okpekpe race is getting more interesting every year, I decided to put in more seriousness into it. I want to win the top prize in the local category this year.
“As you can see, I’m not the only one with this ambition as so many local athletes are here training ahead of the race.”
The athlete said he intensified his training since the middle† of last month.
Meanwhile, thermostatic markings were being concluded on the road to make it more attractive on television as arrangements are being concluded to beam the race live to the international community on digital television.