Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raquin, Delos Santos triumph in MILO Marathon Manila

Veteran runner Ireneo Raquin stamped his authority as he clinched his first ever victory at the 42K tracks in the 38th National MILO Marathon Manila Qualifying Race held at the SM Mall of Asia grounds, Pasay City on Sunday. Former MILO Marathon Queen Mary Grace Delos Santos was not to be outshined as she reclaimed her title in the female’s division race. Both are being trained by coach Mario Castro in Baguio City.

Each pocketed a cash prize of P50,000, a trophy, and a sought-after slot in the National Finals on December 7. As an added motivation for this year’s runners, MILO will send the MILO Marathon King and Queen to Japan on an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Tokyo Marathon.

Raquin finished at an impressive 02:31:15, which set back rivals Jeson Agravante (02:38:36) and Rafael Poliquit (02:44:15) to second and third place, respectively. The 29-year-old native from Occidental Mindoro, currently based in Baguio, has been joining the MILO Marathon since 2005 and has been consistently qualifying for and placing in the finals. “I didn't expect to win because my fiercest rivals are more experienced than me. I am overjoyed because finally, I won first place,” expressed Raquin. “We aimed to enhance my speed and endurance in training, and I’m happy that it paid off. For the National Finals, I will continue training hard.”

On the distaff side, Mary Grace Delos Santos posted a stellar time of 03:08:18 and excelled over fellow elite runners Jennylyn Nobleza (03:17:43) and Aileen Tolentino (03:33:04). The 27-year-old Philippine Air Force member added today’s victory to her long list of local and international awards. “We’re grateful that the weather today was great and we used that to our advantage. We’re also thankful for the abundant water stations which help us runners hydrate during the race,” said Delos Santos. “I felt that my training was not enough. My main aim was to qualify for the finals. I’m very proud to have conquered the 42K event and I will work doubly hard for the National Finals.”

“We are extremely pleased with today’s turnout. We always welcome runners of all ages and from all backgrounds to join in on the fun,” said Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Marketing Manager. “We take pride in saying that the MILO Marathon inspires not only athletic excellence and sportsmanship, but also camaraderie in the Philippine sports community.”

With the support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO’s Help Gives Shoes advocacy will provide 16,000 underprivileged youth with brand new running shoes and reach the 50,000 mark this year. As MILO celebrates its 50th year, Help Give Shoes aims to make the donation to students in Yolanda-hit cities, particularly Tacloban, Ormoc, and Eastern Samar.

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