Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon

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Quick facts

Location Nigeria

Distance Marathon

Date 02 Feb 2020

About Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon

Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Ife, as the town is often called, is an ancient Yoruba town in south-western Nigeria and located about 218 kilometres northeast of Lagos. The town is said to be the oldest Yoruba town and dates back to around 500 B.C. 

Ife is the town where the Yorubas believe their civilization began as well as the location where the gods descended to earth. The name, Ile Ife, literally means place of dispersion. According to Yoruba tradition, Ife was founded by the deities Oduduwa and Obatala when they created the world. Obatala fashioned the first humans out of clay while Oduduwa became the first divine king of the Yoruba people. - See more at:

The IHM was born out of a desire to showcase to the world, the rich cultural heritage of the Yorubas.

The Yorubas are an ethnic group of southwestern and North-central Nigeria as well as southern and central Republic of Benin, together known as Yorubaland. According to CIA Worldfactbook, they constitute over 40 million people in total and the majority of this population is from Nigeria. 

The course of this marathon has therefore been deliberately designed to read like a must-see list of Ife's most alluring attractions!

Ditch your travel guide and let your fellow runners be your tour guides.

Runners will set out for the 42.195km tour of Ancient Ife from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), and end at a Royal Medal Reception in the Palace of the King of Ile-Ife who is traditionally called the Ooni.

The Ooni stool is highly revered and exalted so it will be a unique experience to receive finisher's medals on the palace grounds that hold so much history and cultural importance!

Register soon and have the chance to win a free accomodation!

Every runner who register between 01.06.2019 and 31.07.2019 will have the chance to win a free accommodation at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Conference Center, the official accommodation of the race. In total 2 runners will be picked and informed via e-mail on the 5th of August. The accommodation is provided and booked by the organizer.



The Obafemi Awolowo University Conference Centre, Ile-Ife is the recommended hotel for the Event. A standard room costs NGN 11,500 per night.

After Race Services

There will be refreshment and entertainment at the Finish Area

Age Limit

There is no minimum age for participants

Aid Stations

There will be refreshment  stations at KM 5 and every other 3 km thereafter.

Award Medals

All Finishers will receive a Finsher Medal and a Finisher T/Shirt

Equipment Storage

Baggage can be checked in at the Start Area  and collected at the Finish Area

Maximum Time

The maximum time is 7hours. There shall be no support on the race course after 1pm


Vehicles can be parked at the Student Union Carpark

Provided Photo Service

There will be race photographers at the Start Area, Finish Area and along the course.

Race Kit Includes

The Race Kit will include a Running Bib 


Water, Lucozade Sports Drinks and tropical fruits will be provided along the course.Light meal and drink will be provided at the Finish Area


Timing shall be manually conducted by Race Officials


There shall be transportation to convey runners from Lagos to Ile-Ife and back to Lagos on Friday 31/01/20and Monday 03/02/20 for a fee.

Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon Route Map

Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon Route Map

Reviews (9)

1 - 5 of 9



Reviewed 11 February, 2019


Bayo Hassan Bello

Bayo Hassan Bello

Reviewed 05 February, 2019


Femi Sosanya

Femi Sosanya

Reviewed 31 July, 2018


Francisca Akudo

Francisca Akudo

Reviewed 31 July, 2018


Christof Lindenbeck

Christof Lindenbeck

Reviewed 27 July, 2018


1 - 5 of 9


Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria


Ooni of Ife's Palace, Ife, Nigeria


Below are a few of the highlights to look out for on the course:

1. Some of the most iconic buildings in the Obafemi Awolowo University, which was established in 1962 and boasts of vast grounds, beautifully sculptured landscapes with scenic views of lush African green vegetation and flowers, which exude tropical scents. The thunderous cheers from the students should get you going at a good pace.

Start Area

Run up and down the steps as a form of warm up

2. The University Campus Greens.
One of the first things that strikes a first time visitor to Obafemi Awolowo University is the sheer expanse of land on which the University is laid out. One
cannot but marvel at the beauty of the landscape and the undulating terrain which are
perfectly in sync. 

The green lush trees have become home to one of the largest colonies of bats in the
world and often times the entire sky is covered by these creatures as they make
melodious sounds and glide around.

3. Participants would be ready for a glimpse of the outskirts of Ile-Ife after completing 20km within the Obafemi Awolowo University Campus. They will head towards the other University in Ile-Ife before making a turnaround back towards the ancient city of Ile-Ife. 

After all, the marathon is an event to bring "gown" and "town" together Obafemi Awolowo University Gate through which runners will exit to Gown toTown Oduduwa 

University Gate

4. The Ife Bronze Head Statue is known as Ori Olokun. The original, which was purportedly ‘discovered’ by the famous German archaeologist Leo Frobenius in 1910, sits in the Royal British Museum.The Ori Olokun Statue at Km 38 ushers runners into Ife town after their sojourn to see the two university campuses in Ile-Ife.

5. The 42ft giant statue of Moremi, the beautiful wife of King Oranmiyan, who liberated the people of Ile Ife from Slave invaders in the 12th century is at Km 41.3. The statue stands where Moremi lived. Cultural dances to loud traditional African beats are expected here as participants get on the final stretch home. Runners in pursuit of setting Personal Best records will have to dig deep to keep running and not stop to join the African dancers.

The tallest statue in Nigeria and the third tallest in Africa 

6. Participants should look out for the National Museum at Km 41.5 just beside the Palace. But do not be deceived there is a detour from the palace to show more of the ancient town before the finish line.

7. Participants will run towards the round about where the symbolic King’s crown is located before heading to the Palace for a royal reception.

8. The Royal Reception at the Finish is the highlight of the race and makes the 42.195km tour worthwhile.

Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon Ticket prices: $90.00

The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.