Wednesday, July 22, 2015

39th MILO Marathon Balanga

MILO Marathon regulars Noel Fabros and Mary Grace Dela Torre topped the 21K centerpiece event at the 39th National MILO Marathon Balanga qualifying leg on Sunday. Over 8,000 runners joined the race, including Balanga City Mayor Joet Garcia who ran in the 5K category. This is the first year that the MILO Marathon came to Balanga, and Sunday’s running event established the record of the biggest race in the city, to date.

In the men’s division, 39-year-old Fabros beat his rivals with a time of 01:24:25. Harly Baguistan (01:24:30) and Gerald De Jesus (01:26:57) placed second and third place, respectively. Fabros, a security guard from Isabela who regularly runs with the Daruik Running Club, placed 4th in the 2013 MILO Marathon National Finals.

Fabros almost did not make it to the finish line. “At some point in the race, I felt cramps and I tripped. Everyone thought I was not going to make it,” shared Fabros. “I thought to myself, I can’t give up now, after all the training and everything I’ve been through. I pushed myself and thankfully, I won.”

In the distaff side, 19-year-old Dela Torre bested her counterparts with a time of 01:47:34. Vanessa Grace Reyes (02:10:59) followed in second place, while Lilibeth Castro (02:15:28) finished in third. Dela Torre, a varsity member of the Far Eastern University running team, was last year’s MILO Marathon Tarlac qualifying leg champion.

Both Fabros and Dela Torre have secured their slots in the National Finals and each took home the top prize of P10,000 in cash and a trophy. Both will go head-to-head with the country’s best runners at the National Finals in Angeles on December 6, where the MILO Marathon King and Queen titles are up for grabs. This year’s King and Queen will be sent by MILO to the USA on all-expense paid trips, for a chance to run in the prestigious 2016 Boston Marathon.

The National MILO Marathon is not only a breeding ground for local talents but also a program that empowers children nationwide. With the support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO’s Help Gives Shoes advocacy will provide 10,000 underprivileged youth with brand new running shoes this year. MILO is working with DepEd in the selection of deserving public school student beneficiaries.

The race will resume in Manila (July 26), before going to Calapan (August 2), Lipa (August 9), Naga (August 16), Lucena (August 30), Iloilo (September 20), Bacolod (September 27), Tagbilaran (October 4), Cebu (October 11), General Santos (October 18), Davao (November 8), Butuan (November 15), and Cagayan De Oro (November 22). The National Finals will be held on December 6 in Angeles, Pampanga.

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