FOLLOWING her success at the Athens Marathon in Greece, where she broke the four hours mark, Esther Obiekwe will be at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday hoping to better her personal best of three hours, 36 minutes.
Ibekwe, who also worked with a bank and earned the nickname, “The running banker,” said she would strive to shelve 10 minutes from her personal best (PB) in Berlin. According to Obiekwu, her career, which started as a means of keeping fit, has seen her compete also at the Dubai and Boston marathons.
She said the grueling nature of marathon race has not deterred her, promising to continue to get better with each race she attends. She added: “My aim is to continually re-evaluate my goal and get better.”
Obiekwu, who is thrilled by her progress since taking up the sports after college, said her career took a major upswing when she met a local running group in Ikoyi in one of her practice sessions. She disclosed: “My running career took a major leap when I met a running group in Ikoyi comprising Nigerians and expatriates, led by Jim Lafferty, in April last year.
“I was exposed to a more rigorous and scientific training approach. So, I opted to enter my first full marathon – 42.2km – and decided to take part in the Athens Marathon. Data shows that female marathoners typically peak in their mid 30s. I am over 30, so now is the time to see how far I can go and I am ready to take part in the five major marathons.”
She also commended her sponsor, Park N Shop, Spar for their unflinching support, noting that no one achieves anything meaningful alone. She noted: “I will not be where I am today without the great people of Park N Shop, Spar. Their support to Nigeria is simply awesome and inspiring and I am just one example.”