Obiekwe Shines at World Marathon

Esther Obiekwe, a member of a local running club in Lagos, has completed two sets of international marathons in remarkable fashion. Last week she ran at the Dubai Marathon clocking a time of three hours thirty-six seconds (3.36) an improvement on her previous personal best of three hours forty-nine seconds (3.49), thus became the first amongst Nigerian athletes, men and women that participated in the race. Her feat has qualified her for the Boston marathon, scheduled for 2012.

Commending Obiekwe on the achievement, Jim Lafferty, managing director of Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC said, ‘to put it in perspective, only 0.1 percent of the world ever runs a marathon. Just finishing one puts you in a unique group. To finish (a marathon) in under four hours is something only 10 percent of runners ever do so. So she is in the top 10 percent of the top 0.1 percent! She is one of only a few thousand women in the world to do this.’

In his remarks, Islay Rhind, chief executive officer of the Coca-Cola Company Nigeria commended Obiekwe’s resilience and dedication. His words: ‘It takes great discipline and commitment to pull this type of feat and we hope it instils determination and excellence in other Nigerians to embrace an active lifestyle for good health.’

On other benefits accruing from her achievement, Rhind said, ‘Obiekwe will be flying the Eva colours and doing the country proud at the Boston Marathon in 2012.’

M2 gathered that only three marathons in the world are qualifiers for the Boston Marathons.