Surprised winner Adamu Shehu Muazu ‘Shagari’ on Saturday, April 16 made history in the ancient town of Isonyin as he emerged the champion of the 1st MASA Isonyin Half Marathon.
The Plateau State-born athlete dusted all the runners; finishing the race in 1:10:52.
‘Shagari’ won Saturday’s race emphatically as his winning time was over two minutes ahead of John Muiruri from Kenya.
Muiruri came second with a time of 1:12:39.
Tosin Adedeji, who hails from the host Local Government, Ijebu-North East, finished impressively in the third position with a time of 1:13:39.
In the women’s race, Hawawu Haruna breasted the tape ahead of her rivals, finishing with a time of 1:23:52.
Charity Agofure and Fadekemi Olude finished in the second and third positions in 1:24:29 and 1:30:39 respectively.
The new kid on the block, 11-year-old Abigael Ogunbowale also drew applause from the jubilant crowd with her sixth-place finish.
Isonyin indigenes finished inside the top ten in both the men’s and women’s categories.
Speaking with reporters after his victory in Isonyin, Shagari said he was happy to add yet another first-place winning medal to his collection.
For him, the presence of elite runners in Isonyin will be a morale booster for the homegrown runners.
On her part, Hawawu who won in the women’s category said was particularly delighted with her triumph, especially with the presence of other elite runners from across the country.
She however appealed for more government intervention in the community; especially in fixing some of the deplorable roads.
The Oba of Isonyin, Oba Abdulrasheed Omotayo Salami, Ilufemiloye 1, said the coming of the marathon is unprecedented in the community and praised the organisers of the race for a job well done.
Aside from announcing Isonyin to the global sports world, the king believes this new race will bring a lot of development to Isonyin land and other adjourning communities.
Media Director & Event Manager Yeye Adesola Salami expressed gratitude to everyone who made the maiden MASA Isonyin Half Marathon a huge success; adding that the next edition will be bigger.
She said “ We are very happy with the success recorded in this first edition, we thank the Kabiyesi and everyone that supported this good course one way or the other”
The Concepteur & MD for the race, Dr Muideen Adegboyega Salami as well as the Finance Director & Event Coordinator Ahmed Adeoye Salami both commended all the athletes for giving their best.
Over N750,000 as well as other consolation prizes were shared among the runners.