Thursday, October 24, 2013

37th MILO Marathon General Santos

Former MILO Marathon Queen Flordeliza Donos reestablished her dominance over the 21K tracks Sunday at the 37th National MILO Marathon in General Santos City. Not to be outdone, veteran runner Arnold Unabia managed to post a 1-second difference against closest rival Gilbert Maluyo to win the men’s division race. About 7,060 students, athletes and running enthusiasts joined the country’s most prestigious foot race at the Tuna Capital of the Philippines

Donos, who is an Air Woman at the Philippine Air Force, used the fair weather to her advantage and clocked in at an impressive 1:26:51, way ahead of Monaliza Ambasa (1:31:39) and Cellie Rose Jaro (1:32:02). The 26-year old runner has had her fair share of marathon victories in the past, having won the MILO Marathon 42K National Finals in 2010, the MILO Marathon 21K Davao race last year, and the 10K Merrell Adventure Run 2013

Donos also expressed that beyond training Filipino runners need support from groups and from the government to improve their chance against foreign competitors. “I always make it a point to run a MILO race every year to show my appreciation for the support and recognition MILO gives to local athletes. I also value how winners serve as role models to aspiring runners and to children who are beginning to love the sport,” she said

In the men’s division race, Unabia got a second wind at the 50-meter mark and crossed the finish line at 1:14:48, a mere second before Maluyo (1:14:49) but way ahead of third placer Welmark Garcel (1:18:11). The 35-year old trainer from Tangub City took the lead at the last 150 meters of the race, but had difficulty maintaining a distance from the other seasoned runner

“My passion for running has become my profession as well. I make a living by teaching children how to appreciate sports at the Tangub City Hall,” he said. “I motivate my students to join the MILO Marathon, so they can observe different types of runners and understand the discipline better. I am very thankful to MILO for their support and for helping young athletes aspire for greatness.”

With the support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO has given a total of 31,200 shoes to public school students nationwide through MILO’s Help Give Shoes advocacy. Through this ongoing commitment to develop sports in the country, MILO delivered 500 pairs of running shoes to beneficiary schools today in General Santos City, namely General Santos City National High School, Koronadal National Comprehensive High School, Baluan National High School, Buayan National High School and Ireneo I. Santiago National High School

“We have seen a steady increase in the number of local athletes whose goal is to compete against a diversity of runners from across the globe. Our runners continue to show that the Filipino spirit can triumph over a powerful set of foreign talents. While we support all competitors in the MILO Marathon, we recognize our very own runners as they vie for an all-Filipino finish. We will continue to work closely with local government units and other institutions to scale support and raise national athletic excellence,” said Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Executive


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