By Tata Mbunwe
Athletes from Cameroon’s Northwest Region again took nearly all juicy positions at this year’s Mount Cameroon Race of Hope, including both male and female championships.
In the senior men category, 31-year-old Adamu Issa Buba from the Northwest won the race for the first time, after crossing the finish line at 4hr’ 40mins’ 0secs’.
He was followed by Amadou Abdou and last year’s winner Elvis Nsabinla, all of them from the Region too.
This is similar to last year, where all three male winners were also from the Northwest.
In the senior women category this year, all first three winners are from the Northwest: Tatah Carine (1st), Kitan Mildred (2nd) and Adamu Irine (3rd).
Although athletes of the Mount Cameroon Race come from all 10 Regions of Cameroon and some from foreign countries, majority of athletes at the race usually come from the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
When the competition first started in 1973, it was won primarily by people from the Southwest, especially from Buea, where the race traditionally takes place.
One of the living heroes of the competition is seven-time female champion, Sarah Liengu Etonge, a native of Buea.
She was crowned “Queen of the Mountain” for her multiple winning record. But since she last won in 2005, only athletes from the Northwest have won the female category till date.
In the men’s category, athletes from the Northwest have equally claimed the trophy from 2009 till date.
The indigenes of Buea, the Bakweris, have been fighting to regain their prowess at the race, but to no avail.
Every year before the race kick-starts, they pour libations to the mountain god “Ephasamoto”, praying not only that the race should go on hitch-free, but also that one of theirs should bring the trophy home.
Upon his coronation last year, the Paramount Chief of Buea, HRH Robert Esuka Endeley, created an athletics club to train Bakweri indigenes for the race.
This year was the first test of the new club, but its members failed to make the Paramount Chief proud.
Below are the over all result of the race.
-CHEPKOECH Eileen (KEN) 2h12’46”
-CHINWEN Sandrine (CMR) 2h13’15”
-LAYU Nancy (CMR) 2h15’02
-LAGAT Amos (KEN) 1h45’32”
-ZAKARIYAHU IBRAHIM (CMR) 1h47’05”
-KARI SETH BOLACK (CMR) 1h47’14”
-TATAH Carine (CMR) 5h13’19”
-KITAN Mildred (CMR) 5h22’18
-ADAMU IRINE (CMR) 5h31’09”
-ADAMU ISSA BUBA (CMR) 4h40’01”
-AMADOU ABDOUL (CMR) 4h40’21
-Elvis NSABINLA (CMR) 4h41’24”
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