Saturday, April 12, 2014
The National MILO Marathon awarded both athletes with an all-expenses paid trip to the international competition as the first Philippine delegates sponsored by MILO in over two decades.
Buenavista, who ran alongside fellow Olympian and this year’s Paris Marathon winner Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, clocked in at a swift 2:33:20 and ranked 42nd in the men’s division. In the distaff side, Tabal crossed the finish line at 2:57:28 and emerged as the 17th placer in the women’s division.
With eyes set on bringing gold and glory to their home soil, Buenavista and Tabal worked to achieve top form months before taking on the challenging course in the French capital. While the athletes trained separately, both admitted to building unique training schemes and strategies to match the speed and endurance of their foreign competitors.
While Tabal didn’t bring home the prize, making it to the top 20 of the female division was no mean feat, proving that Filipino runners can compete in equal footing with the world’s elite runners.
As it celebrates its 50th year anniversary, MILO endeavors to drive Filipinos to follow the path towards success in sports and in life like Buenavista and Tabal. According to Coach Rio, MILO has forged ties with international race organizers to ensure that future champions of the National MILO Marathon will be able to showcase their passion beyond the local athletic scene. Athletes will also be given longer preparation time to adapt better in international races.
The National MILO Marathon will usher in its 38th season in June of this year with a goal to engage 230,000 runners and cap the 50,000 mark for its Help Give Shoes advocacy by donating brand new running shoes to school children in Tacloban.