The Local Organising Committee for the Obudu International Mountain Race has announced Saturday, November  28, 2009 as the date for the fifth edition of the race which will hold at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu, Cross River State.

William Archibong, chairman of the LOC, told the media yesterday in Calabar that this year’s race will be unique in its organisation and structure.

‘’The 5th Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race will be held alongside the 1st African Nations Obudu Ranch Mountain race Championships on November 28th 2009’’,Archibong told the media, adding that the new structure and organisation have the full support of His Excellency,Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA), the IAAF and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria.

“The Confederation of African Athletics has also given us its support especially now that we are introducing the first African Nations Championships’’, said Archibong who also revealed that this new championships was actually mooted by Governor Imoke.

“Last year at the 4th edition of the race Governor Imoke and the then WMRA president, Danny Hughes, agreed that the race should take a new format with the Governor favourably disposed to having a first-of-its-kind championships for African Nations.

The idea was bought by Hughes, now of blessed memory and the IAAF. So what we are having this year will be unique. It is unprecendented.’’

Archibong also revealed that the venue for the race remains the Obudu Ranch Resort described as a paradise by Patrick Ugbe, the chief Press Secretary to Governor Imoke and spokesman for the race.

‘The Ranch possesses a temperate climate due to its high altitude. It has a cable car installed which brings guests from the base camp or ‘bottom hill’ to the summit of the ranch.

At the base of the hills on which the ranc is located lies a  world-class water park with state-of-art swimming facilities and water slides for children, teens and adults.

The hilltop (cattle ranch) is about 11 km of winded road from the base and can be accessed by either the cable-car or the road’’,reveals Ugbe adding that there are also many tourists attractions at the Ranch.

‘’The ranch has numerous pleasant mountain_area and country_side views. Tourist attractions include: the
waterpark, cable_car, ranch cattle and horses, waterfall, Becheve nature reserve (canopy walk), honey and yoghurt
factories and the ancient Anape village.

There is also a standard golf course and hotel resort facilities for tourists and visitors.The biggest attraction is undoubtedly the cable_car which runs from the entrance to the resort at the bottom of the mountain up to the ranch resort at the summit. It is claimed to be the world’s longest cable car system’.

‘The race is an IAAF permit event, a WMRA associate member event, and is organised by the LOC of Cross River
State, assisted by the Athletic federation of Nigeria’’,reveals Ugbe


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.