Build on history and run in the second edition of the Ile Ife Heritage Marathon (IHM), scheduled for Sunday the 3rd of February 2019 in Ile Ife, Nigeria
Ife, as the town is often called, is an ancient Yoruba town in south-western Nigeria and located about 218 kilometers northeast of Lagos. The town is said to be the oldest Yoruba town and dates back to around 500 B.C.
Ife is the town where the Yorubas believe their civilization began as well as the location where the gods descended to earth. The name, Ile Ife, literally means place of dispersion. According to Yoruba tradition, Ife was founded by the deities Oduduwa and Obatala when they created the world. Obatala fashioned the first humans out of clay while Oduduwa became the first divine king of the Yoruba people.
The IHM was born out of the desire to showcase to the world, the rich cultural heritage of the Yorubas.
The Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon is an event that takes participants on a 42.195-kilometre (26.2 miles) adventure through the well laid out roads of Obafemi Awolowo University and the vibrant streets of the ancient city of Ile-Ife. This course allows you to ditch your tour guide and experience several of Ile-Ife’s main attractions on foot, including Home to a large colony of bats, The charming roads of the university laced with trees giving the impression of a jungle life, The scenic 2.5km University Road 1, Statue of the world famous Bronze Head, The Moremi Statue and the beautiful downtown core of Ile-Ife.
Ile-Ife has gained a reputation for being a little “hill-y” but it’s nothing you can’t handle. They are only hills so we are sure you are more than able to get over them (We’re sure of it!). You can also find comfort in knowing that the whole city has an undulating terrain and after an uphill, there will always be a downhill with the cyclists and by-standers cheering you on from the sidelines.
Add the Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon to your must-do list, after all, when was the last time you ran to the finish line for a royal reception?
Click to reach the official site
Information about the event is available in : English
The course of this marathon has been deliberately designed to read like a must-see list of Ife’s most alluring attractions!
Ditch your travel guide and let your fellow runners be your town guides.
Runners will set out for the 42.195km tour of Ancient Ife from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), and end at a Royal Medal Reception in the Palace of the King of Ile Ife who is traditionally called the Ooni.
The race which is an attempt to bring “Gown” and “Town” together starts from the Motion Grounds of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The first Kilometer is downhill Road 2 before making a right turn to winding Road 7 leading out of the University Campus to the University Teaching Hospital Complex. A total of 7km is run in the beautiful complex before heading back to Road 2 and heading towards the University Vice-Chancellor’s lodge. Runners will run in the Staff Housing Quarters passing by the former house of the Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka before making a turn around that takes them to the Academic area of the school at Km 14. Runners will then head towards the main Gate leading them outside of the University premises.
Having run 20km on the University premises, runners turn right at the main gate and join the Ife/Ibadan Expressway. The long undulating stretch takes runners away from Ile-Ife towards Ibadan until they make a turnaround at Km 28, the main gate of the Oduduwa University, Ile-Ife and start heading back to town. The stretch back to town will have runners running by the famous Bronze Head Statue, running in the bustling downtown Ile-Ife, running in the most ancient parts of the city, running by the Moremi Statue before heading to the Enu-Owa Palace grounds for a royal reception by the Ooni of Ile-Ife.