Organisers of the maiden Abuja International Marathon (AIM) have said the five-kilometre version of this race is open to every runner, adding, however, that the prize attached to the event is only for Nigerian secondary school students, who are 17 years or younger.
Speaking on the Abuja International Marathon, which will hold on April 29, 2023, yesterday, FCT Director of School Sports, Adamu Hashimu, said the essence of the five-kilometre race is to encourage Nigerian youths to embrace road races and marathons.
“Nigerians, who are familiar with the performances of our people, will remember that when the world record in the marathon was two hours: 08 minutes, Nigerians like Abass Mohammed and Yohanna Waziri were running two hours 14 minutes, a very good time that has won about seven editions of the Lagos Marathon.
“In the FCT Sports Department, we have our own Hilda Nwokocha, who once placed fifth in the marathon at the World Universities Games. So, we need to start a development programme that will see our students, especially those from the northern part of Nigeria, who have similar physiological traits with Kenyans and Ethiopians, embrace the culture of marathon and road races at a tender age.”
Hashimu also said that before prizes are paid to winners, the race organisers, Unicentral Resources Generation Limited and FCTA, would confirm their information on the entry form from their respective schools.
The Abuja International Marathon is in three categories: the five-km students race, the 10km family run and the 42.195 km full marathon.
The race starts at the City Gate and ends at Eagles Square.
Build-up activities begin today with the Marathon Expo at The Pavilion, beside International Conference Centre opposite Radio House.