Deborah Pam and Harris Ismail both smashed the course records to win the titles at the 2015 Splash FM Integrity Marathon race in Ibadan, Nigeria on Sunday, March 22.
The Plateau State's duo, who both emerged winners in the male and female categories at the 2013 edition of the 42km marathon race, again repeated the feat this year at the Obafemi Awolowo stadium finish point.
Nigeria’s leading marathoner, Deborah Pam won the women's race in 3:03:23, bettering the 3:06:51 she set to win the 42km marathon in 2013, ahead of Lydia Michael from Nasarawa State.
The 21-year-old Pam, a student of College of Education, Gindiri, Plateau State and a staff of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), won the first prize money of N400,000 ($2,000 USD).
Nasarawa state's Lydia Michael, 21, took home N200,000 ($1,000 USD) prize money for coming second and Elizabeth Pawa Nuhu, 23, also from Nasarawa, earned N100,000 ($500 USD) for third place.
Olamide Oluwaseun, 17, from Lagos state, and Blessing Baraka, from Borno state, took home N60,000 ($300 USD) and N40,000 ($200 USD) for fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Meanwhile, Pam said after her victory in Ibadan that she now want to focus on winning the 2015 Okpekpe 10km Road Race in May.
“I have been consistent at the competition for the past two years, but I don’t want to settle for less again,” she said.
“I want to become the first Nigerian athlete to win the competition and I will be going back home to intensify preparation for the competition."
“I would have started early but school activities have been affecting my preparation, but with this victory in Ibadan, I can move on from here,” she added.
Ismail reclaims crown
Harris Ismail broke the course record of 2:39:58 he set when he won the 5th edition of the marathon in 2013 with a decent 2:35:06 finish on Sunday.
Ismail reclaimed the men's title he could not defend last year due to illness. The 33-year-old also took home the top prize of N600,000 ($3,000 USD).
Sharabutu Philips, 26, from Nasarawa State, who came second in 2013 and fifth in 2014 clocked 2:35:21 to finish second and got N300,000 ($1,500 USD) for his effort.
Abdulahi Ibrahim, 25, from Nasarawa State, who finished fourth in 2014, clocked 2:37:37 for third place. He also went home with a sum of N150,000 ($750 USD).
Iliya Pam from Plateau state and Danjuma Gyang from Nasarawa State, who finished in fourth and fifth positions, both went home with N90,000 ($450 USD) and N60,000 ($300 USD) respectively.
Nine hundred athletes from all over Nigeria took part in the 7th edition of the annual Splash FM Integrity Marathon race which was co-sponsored by Splash FM Ibadan and the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Oyo State, Teslim Folarin.