By Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan
The Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon is all set to take off in Ile-Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba race in Osun state, on the 4th of February 2018.
The town is planning feverishly to host the multiple marathoners who would be gracing the occasion. These include Professor Klaus Wesphal – a professor of Medicine – from Germany. He once held the record of running marathons in the most number of countries in the world. He is planning to include Nigeria as one of his trophies.
Also expected are marathoners from Belgium, Netherlands, Isreal, United States of America amongst others. Many Nigeria social marathoners – male and female – would also be participating in the epoch-making event.
The 42.195km marathon would take participants through the various beautiful scenes in Ile-Ife. This includes a 20km run within the Obafemi Awolowo University and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex , Ile-Ife Campus.
Runners will be expected to run through the eyes of the early morning Ife fog, sight the rising of the sun and the morning rise of the largest colony of bats in Africa.
The last 22.195km will take runners through the town of Ile-Ife. Runners will sight the beautiful Grand Ife resort, Oranmiyan Towers, the famous bronze head known as Ori-Olokun (the original is in a British Museum) and the 42 feet tall Moremi Statue.
The race starts after the third dailycock crow – 5:30am and ends at the royal grounds of the Enuwa Palace of the Ooni of Ife.
All runners will sight the Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, dressed in his most magnificent royal apparel waving a welcome to all participants who finish the race.
Registered participants will also have the priviledge to lunch with the Imperial Majesty a day before the marathon starts.
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The initiator of the Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon, Dayo Oyebade, the Princess of Ogotun Ekiti, told POSTERITY MEDIA exclusively that she is extremely excited to see a dream conceived in 2014 come true. Dayo has run marathons in 30 different countries including the triple 7 challenge – running seven marathons in the seven continents in seven days.
“I am looking forward to the 4th of February and very excited that this dream is finally becoming a reality. I see this race becoming a world marathoners’ delight and a platform to give back to the community that nurtured me as an adolescent in the world-class University of Ife.”
Dayo has a dream of birthing a world-class tourism industry in Ile-Ife that will become a money spinning industry for creative youths in the country. She continually sees the magnificent splendor of Obafemi Awolowo University – a virgin tourism delight that has remained untapped.
The glory of Ile-Ife town and the beautiful sights of multiple tourists points between the Muritala Mohamed Airport and Ile-Ife – the rusty roofs of Ibadan, one of the two suspension lakes in the world located in Oyo State, the Osun Groove, the Erin Ijesha waterfalls, Ikogosi warm spring, Idanre Hills amongst others – are tourists site she intends to bring the world to visit through the Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon.
The quiet academic town of Ile-Ife is looking forward to the Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon to rouse it from its slumber.