Monday, September 22, 2014

38th National MILO Marathon Ilo-Ilo 2014

Elite runners Eric Panique and Adjene Rose Delos Santos conquered the 21K centerpiece events at the Iloilo leg of the 38th National MILO Marathon on Sunday, the biggest race in Iloilo, to date. Almost 15,000 runners joined the race, despite the stormy weather that battered the country in the past few days.

Last year’s MILO Marathon Manila leg winner Eric Panique grabbed another comfortable victory against his rivals as he used the better weather conditions to his advantage and clocked in at 01:14:06, beating second placer Roger Denolo (01:19:15) and third placer Roger Molinos (01:19:19).

The 28-year-old member of the National Team, hailing from Negros Occidental, trains everyday with the team under coach Mario Castro’s guidance. Perseverance is the key to winning, according to Panique. “Because of Typhoon Mario’s wrath in the past few days, I was worried it would still rain and the roads will be very wet. Thankfully the weather got better, although the high humidity levels made the race more challenging. But I did not let it stop me,” said Panique. “There were times when I had difficulty in breathing and experienced some chest pains, but I pushed myself since I knew I can still handle it. I’m proud that my perseverance paid off.”

Meanwhile, Adjene Rose Delos Santos went neck-and-neck in a thrilling bout with fellow contender Jioda Gagnao, beating the latter by only one second. Delos Santos settled the score towards the finish line and posted a time of 01:48:46, relegating Gagnao to second place (01:48:47), while Lorena Blanco finished in third place (01:53:16).

For Delos Santos, a 28-year-old native of the Quezon province, awareness and distribution were the main factors that helped her earn her victory. “During the race, I kept track of how many kilometers I’ve already covered, and the pace that I was running at. I tried to manage my distribution and pacing throughout the entire route as best as I can,” said Delos Santos. “We were lucky that it wasn’t rainy anymore and it wasn’t too hot either. The main challenge for me was when I felt some pains on my sides, and experienced dehydration due to the lack of sleep. I need to work on this for the National Finals.”

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.

The qualifying race will pick up in Iloilo on September 21, then proceed to Bacolod (September 28), Tagbilaran (October 5), Cebu (October 12), Butuan (October 19), Cagayan De Oro (November 9), General Santos (November 16), and Davao (November 23). The National Finals will be held on December 7 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.

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