Sunday, November 24, 2013

37th National MILO Marathon Tarlac

Last year’s local winner, Miscelle Gilbuena made good use of her familiarity with the route to earn herself a back-to-back victory at the 37th National MILO Marathon in Tarlac City. Veteran runner Rafael Poliquit also showed perseverance under pressure and outlasted his closest pursuer, former MILO Marathon King Julius Sermona, in the men’s division race. Like many of this season’s marathon champions, both Gilbuena and Poliquit serve the country as members of the Philippine Air Force

Of the 12,089 students and running enthusiasts who joined the race, 55 runners successfully beat the clock and booked a ticket to the finale in December. They are set to compete with 500 other elite runners from across the country for the championship title and for an all-expenses paid trip to the 2014 Paris Marathon courtesy of MILO. As a testament to the increasing number of skilled athletes in provincial areas, the Tarlac race has tied Manila for the most number of qualifiers in a single regional leg this season

24-year old Poliquit found himself running alongside seasoned runners Sermona and Elmer Sabal, and sparked a rivalry with the veterans throughout the race. Poliquit managed to take the lead at the last 10 meters of the race, and settled the score at the finish line at 1:12:38, relegating Sermona to second place with 1:12:47 and Sabal to third at 1:13:53.

In the distaff division, 25-year old Gilbuena took the lead at the sound of the starting gun, but struggled throughout the first few meters of the race. After finding her pace at the 2-kilometer mark, she ran alongside strong male contenders and crossed the finish line at 1:28:06. Last year’s second placer Berna Pulmano finished behind her a distant second at 1:36:13, followed by Melinda de los Reyes at 1:42:16.

As part of its ongoing commitment to develop sports in the country, MILO has given a total of 32,500 shoes to public school students nationwide through MILO’s Help Give Shoes advocacy. With the invaluable support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO delivered 500 pairs of running shoes to beneficiary schools today in Tarlac City, namely Capas High School, San Miguel Central School, Sto. Cristo Elmentary School, Tarlac West Central School, and Mataalaib Bato Elementary School.

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