Monday, December 10, 2012

Conquering the Race of Champions

An exhilarating marathon event unfolded Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City, as the finest foreign and local runners clash in the epic culminating race of the 36th National MILO Marathon. A turnout of about 21,388 runners marked a milestone in MILO Marathon history, as organizers report that they surpassed the initial 200,000 collective target by over 10,000 runners, shattering last year’s headcount

After an excellent display of athletic prowess, last year’s MILO Marathon champions James Tallam and Mary Grace de los Santos made a swift comeback and reclaimed their second consecutive title in the 42K Open category run. Tallam posted a remarkable finishing time of 2:26:34 and led fellow Kenyans Josphat Too (2:28:52) and Alex Melly (2:29:06) towards a 1-2-3 finish. In the women’s division, 25-year-old de los Santos dismissed a strong line of contenders to bag the MILO Marathon race title and lead two-time MILO Marathon Queen Jho-an Banayag (2:55:56) and Kenyan Everline Atancha (3:03:39) towards an easy finish

Current men’s event record-holder and three-time MILO Marathon King Eduardo Buenavista returned for a stellar win in the 42K Local category race and posted an impressive time of 2:29:45. Completing the top 3 cast behind Buenavista were early favorites Eric Panique (2:32:08) and last year’s fifth placer Jason Agravante (2:34:58)

Maintaining a swift stride in the women’s division 42K Local category race was 23-year-old trackster Mary Joy Tabal who posted an impressive 3:05:12. She adds this victory to several others in her career, including her victory in the 2011 Adidas King of the Road Southeast Asia meet and her record-breaking feat in the Singapore Sundown Marathon. Behind Tabal, four-time MILO Marathon Queen Christabel Martes (3:10:46) and Jennilyn Nobleza (3:22:03) settled for second and third place, respectively

Tallam and de los Santos each received P 300,000 from the 42K Open category run, while Buenavista and Tabal took home P 150,000 from the 42K Local category run

In the special awards category, Fort Bonifacio High School copped the ‘Biggest Delegation’ award with a total of 1,575 runners, while Karuhatan National High School nabbed the ‘Fastest Delegation’ award with an aggregate time of 23:27.93

Through its advocacy program called ‘Help Give Shoes’, which is now on its third year of staging, MILO donated a total of 1,000 shoes to public schools in Metro Manila as an ongoing commitment to develop the Filipino sports community. Students of CAA Main High School, Kapitbahayan Elementary School, Tipas National High School, Makati Science High School, Hulo Elementary School, Fort Bonifacio Elementary School, A. Villegas High School, Ramon Magsaysay High School, San Diego Elementary School and Pitogo High School were among the campaign’s most recent beneficiaries. Since the campaign’s conception, MILO has donated 24,200 shoes nationwide

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