By Ben Efe
Cross River governor Liyel Imoke has approved a new course for the Obudu Mountain race to bring it in line with world required standards as Cross Rivers bids to host the 30th edition of the World Mountain Running Championships in 2014.
The new course will be used for the 7th Obudu international mountain race and the third African Nations Mountain Running Championship scheduled for November 26.
The new course will ensure the athletes run more on bush paths than on the tarred roads at the Obudu Ranch so that it can truly live up to its mountain race status and not a road race like the marathon.
“The governor has already given the Local Organising Committee the go-ahead to begin the job. This is towards the actualisation of his commitment towards making the Obudu Ranch Resort host the biggest championships in the calendar of the WMRA come 2014,” said William Archibong, chairman of the LOC.
Bruno Gozzelino, president of the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA), r urged Senator Imoke to make a bid for the WMRA World Championships.
“I believe Nigeria is ripe to host the WMRA world championships. The organisers of the race have also shown a mastery of the sport and only a few logistics in terms of travel and the terrain would only be improved upon.
“I strongly believe that the Obudu Ranch Resort has a good chance of staging the biggest competition in our calendar,the world mountain running championships’,began the Italian who took over the association after the demise of Danny Hughes.
‘In my opinion, only two areas need to be adjusted for the competition to come to Nigeria and they are the travel arrangements for participants and the terrain of the Ranch”.
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