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Many Changes for the 4. Edition of African Mountain Running Championship at Obudu (Nigeria). Print
2012aac.jpgAn Important edition of the Eighth Obudu International Mountain Race will be hosted in Nigeria on November 17th 2012.
The most important aspect is the new route of the race: a staff of Turkish experts, along with  Nigerian workers (100 people), under the direction of Erhan Basoglu prepared a new track for the race, following WMRA recommendations for the parameters to satisfy the expectations of the Nations of the WMRA for the 30. World Mountain Running Championships on 2014.
The track of the course has changed to standardise the terrain after the presentation of the official application bid in Italy last September.
Much work was involved and included two small bridges that were built for crossing little rivers.
The test of the race course will be very important.
At the last WMRA Congress it was decided to accept the application from NAF and Cross River State under conditions that some important organisational aspects will be tested during 2012 and 2013.
Another important step for improving logistical and organisational matters was the fact that top athletes this year arrived to the venue of the competition by plane.
The Sen. Liyel Imoke, Governor of Cross River State, organised the operation and opening of Bebi airstrip that is very near to Obudu Ranch Cattle.
This means that the athletes avoided the long  transfer by bus arrived directly to Bebi airstrip from Lagos.
The transfer from Bebi airstrip to Obudu was less than one hour.
In 2014, for the World Mountain Running Championships each athlete who competes in the race will receive a minimum financial support of $550 towards the costs to fly to Lagos or Abuja.
The costs of the trip to Bebi airstrip and return would be borne by the LOC. This year both winners from 2011 edition of the race will be at the start: Ethiopian runners come to Nigeria to confirm recent excellent performances in the event, with leaders Mesfin Hunegnaewai in the men and Yalew Genet in the women.
There are a great number of very strong runners coming from Kenya and Uganda. Nigeria is still looking to develop their challenge in the future and with such commitment, it would be no surprise to see Nigeria challenge for individual positions. At the start line there will be athletes coming from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Morocco, Cameroon, Tanzania and, of course, host Country, Nigeria.
2012aacwilliam.jpgLOC Chairman William Archibong, and the AFN, with many of their senior officials will be present. These include Solomon Ogba, NAF President, the General Secretary, Maria Wophill,  Navy Captain Omatseye Nesiama, AFN Technical Director, Jide Josiah and Samuel Fatunla, a very well-known African statistician.
The Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Liyel Imoke, with the wonderful support of the highest political authorities of Nigeria who are working to satisfy the conditions that WMRA requested to maintain the high standards for the organization of the 30. World Mountain Running Championships in 2014.
The WMRA presence at the event is seen with WMRA President, Bruno Gozzelino, and WMRA Council members, Turkish Erhan Basoglu and Bulgarian Galia Puhaleva.
The cash prize for the runners in the male and female category was the same as each of the gold medallists got $50,000; silver medallists $20,000, and bronze medallists $9,000.
About 40 international athletes men and 25 women, plus many Nigerian runners, are on the start list for the eighth running of the International Obudu Race which will attract a large number of spectators in an area of outstanding natural beauty here in Nigeria.

News by Bruno Gozzelino (WMRA President)

Photos source by Clara Braide
on front page:
- arrival of officials and top runners to Bebi airport.
on second page:
- William Archibong

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