The Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon is an event that takes participants on a 42.195-kilometre (26.2 miles) adventure trip through 34km of the well laid out roads of the Obafemi Awolowo University, a 3km trail on same campus, and 5km of the vibrant streets of the ancient city of Ile-Ife which takes runners to the Palace of the Ooni of Ife.
The marathon course allows the participants to ditch tour guides and experience several of Ile-Ife’s main attractions on foot. Places of interest along the route include home of a large colony of bats, the charming roads of the university laced with trees giving the impression of a jungle in the city, the scenic 2.5km University Road 1, the Wole Soyinka Museum, the Statue of the world famous Bronze Head, the Moremi Statue and the beautiful downtown core of Ile-Ife.
The Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon has quickly gained a reputation for being hilly and beautiful. The students of the University town usually come out in their droves to cheer on the participants 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?
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.