Sunday, November 30, 2014

38th National MILO Marathon GenSan 2014

GENERAL SANTOS City, Philippines – MILO Marathon veterans Arnold Unabia and Liza Ambasa set a swift pace at the 21K centrepiece events at the General Santos leg of the 38th National MILO Marathon held on Sunday. Over 9,300 runners joined the prestigious race, establishing the record of the biggest race in General Santos City to date.

Unabia and Ambasa took home the top purse of P10,000 in cash and a trophy. Both had also booked their slots to the National Finals in Manila on December 7, where they will meet the nation’s elite runners in a heated grand finale to claim the MILO Marathon King and Queen titles. To provide another level of prestige to the competition and incentive for the runners, this year’s King and Queen will be sent by MILO to Japan on all-expense paid trips, for a chance to run in the 2015 Tokyo Marathon.

Using the good weather to his advantage, Arnold Unabia emerged first, posting a time of 01:15:12. Rivals Dante Baay (01:15:30) and Joselito Dugos (01:16:30) followed in second and third place, respectively.*

The 36-year-old from Tangub, Misamis Oriental has been joining the MILO Marathon since 1997, and has an impressive list of awards to his name, most notably the nine champion titles in Cagayan De Oro and a third place finish in th 2013 National Finals. Unabia, Tangub City’s head coach in Athletics, trains students from Tangub City Central School and Tangub City National High School. Aside from the MILO Marathon, his students also compete in the MILO Little Olympics. “I usually join the Cagayan De Oro race but this year, I was too busy coaching my students who won first place in the 5K and 10K events. My daughter also joined the race and she won third place in the 3K event,” shared Unabia. “I wasn’t able to train as much as I wanted to because I focused on my students. I am thankful to the Lord that I still won. For the National Finals, I need an intesive, focused training program. This is essential in preparing for the finals.”

In the distaff side, Liza Ambasa finished with a time of 01:31:36, impressively beating fellow runners Gelyn Ninofranco (01:53:07) who came in second, and Rosilie Lim (01:53:18) who followed in third place.*

Ambasa, a 31-year-old native of Tiruray, South Cotabato currently living in Davao, has also been joining the MILO Marathon for many years now, and has been consistently winning her qualifying races. She is most proud of claiming the third place title twice in the National Finals. “I am very pleased with my win. The route was good. I set my pace with the male runners during the entire race,” shared Ambasa. I train with my fellow members of my running club, Titan Davao, and I will continue with my training program to prepare for the National Finals. I hope I can finish impressively again.”

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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