By Sylvester Idowu, Warri
A 26-year-old Hamadjan Soudi has emerged winner of the 10km Mangrove Marathon race in Warri, Delta State.
Also 28 years old, Charity Agofure emerged winner in the female category of the energy-sapping race.
Hamadan Sondhi and Charity Agofure became winners of the male and female categories respectively in the first edition of the Mangrove Marathon race held in Warri on Saturday.
The marathon was organized by Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) in conjunction with the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF); the Institute of Mangrove Ecology and Environmental Technology and others.
The race tagged “10km Awareness Run/Fun Walk, Warri 2022” was in commemoration of the International Day For the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystems.
The marathon race kicked off from Mosheshe Estate Junction along Airport road and terminated at Warri City Stadium.
Mr Daniel Okakoso, who represented Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano of Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) said the event was put together to create awareness for the people that mangroves were not just plants but very vital to society.
He said the NFC partnered with others to make the people know the importance of protecting the mangroves, which is the foundation’s green recovery programme for the country.
Lead, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Mr Cadmus Stake Enade, noted that the mangroves marathon was an important activity to create awareness about protecting the mangroves along the coastal shores in Nigeria.
“One thing, the marathon race is very significant because it will create the awareness on how best people can protect the mangrove forests in our country,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer, Mangroves Marathon, Mr Jerry Chidi, said the race would become an annual event with the participation of state governments that hosts the mangrove forests.
“10 states host mangroves in the country. We plan to ensure each state hosts future editions. This is not to only create awareness about the environment but also use it to look for talents,” he added.