One of Nigeria’s celebrated athletics road running family, the Pam, Ilya, Deborah and Paul James, are poised to make history as the first elite road running family from Plateau State to clear the titles at stake at the first ever Jos Cross Country race, as the competition for men and women runners in Nigeria, the first in 40 years in the history of athletics hold at the Jos metropolis, Plateau State.
The sibblings have their eyes on the podium at the finish point of the race this Saturday, February 18, 2023 at the Rhino Golf Course, Jos, Plateau State.
It’s not the first time the Pam family members, especially Iliya and Deborah, who are of the same parents achieve this rare feat. The duo once did in 2018 when they emerged winners of the 10th edition of the 42km Splash FM Ibadan City Marathon. Deborah, did it total three times as winner of the race, while her brother Iliya, is a two-time winner.
The confirmation of the likes of Nyango Gyang Boy, the first Nigerian finisher at the 2023 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon last weekend in Lagos, at 2:27:15, Paul James Pam, also a former winner of the Splash FM 42km race, and Emmanuel Gyan Gwom, the 2019 Okpekpe race ‘Nigerian’ winner, Stephen Joshua Dalop, in the race makes it more interesting.
The Jos Cross Country competition, which is being organised by the celebrated Nilayo Sports Management Limited, is a follow up on the efforts the Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, who last year organised a training camp for selected elite Nigerian runners towards boosting their performances in international marathon races.
Now, he has come up with the first Cross Country competition in Nigeria in 40 years taking a practical bold step in developing long distance running in Nigeria.