MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal obtains Olympics slot in Ottawa Marathon

Mary Joy Tabal once again proved that hard work and determination can propel oneself to success. Finally making her dream come true, Tabal secured her slot for the Rio Olympics when she finished the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon on Sunday, May 29 (May 30, Philippine time). After falling short in her stint at the Boston Marathon last April, the reigning MILO Marathon Queen was able to make an impressive comeback in Ottawa’s prestigious footrace.

Known as the Great White North’s largest and fastest marathon, the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon is one of two International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Gold Label races in Canada, attracting a world contingent of about 7,000 runners every year because of its flat and fast race course.  

Tabal clocked in with the time of 2:43:29, beating the 2:45:00 Olympic qualifying time for the women’s marathon. The 26-year-old Cebuana gained a substantial lead against other competitors, and was able to rank 5th in the female age group, 8th in the overall elite female category and 38th in the overall elite male and female category, out of a total of 4,416 elite participants.

The unusually hot and humid weather prompted the organizers to implement route and time changes before the event but Tabal was able to deliver a strong performance at the start of the race. As she neared the finish line, she was troubled by intense leg pains which caused her to slow down. Despite this, the Filipina fron trunner still willed herself to overcome the challenge.

“My body felt heavier when I reached the 35km mark and my pacing got slower and slower as I went farther.  When I checked, I was only 7km shy to the end of the race. I decided to carry on forcefully and ignore the pain. It was very difficult to preserve my stride especially in the last 200 meters. I kept on telling myself that if I stop now, I won’t be able to make it here again so I ran like it was the last my race of my life. I was so happy to be able to hit my goal I broke down in tears as I ran past the finish line.” ~Mary Joy Tabal~

After the disappointment of not qualifying through the Boston Marathon, Tabal never gave up and immediately returned to her training ground to pursue her Olympic dream. Now with another feather on her cap, Tabal, with the help of her coach Philip Duenas, will be embarking on a new journey to prepare for the Rio Olympics.
 “I couldn’t believe this is happening! I often ask myself if this is real or not. To play in the Olympics was once a dream but now it’s finally in my hands.  I hope this will inspire more Filipino athletes who dream like I did. It may seem impossible at first, but all it really takes is a lot of effort and willpower in overcoming trials to be able to achieve your goals.
“I am very thankful to the well-wishers who prayed for my success and to MILO who has supported me right from the start.  I started to dream big because of MILO. And now, I am slowly achieving those dreams one by one.” ~Mary Joy Tabal~

Tabal adds that the support of MILO and the Filipinos helped her to keep going.

40th National MILO Marathon Schedule of Races 2016

Last December, the 39th National MILO Marathon concluded an exhilarating season of Champions. This year, MILO celebrates the 40th year anniversary of the MILO Marathon, and continues its legacy of providing quality races for runners, young and old, with 18 leg races across NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

To welcome an exciting season ahead, here is the race schedules for the 40th National MILO Marathon!

40th National MILO Marathon Schedule of Races
Metro Manila
General Santos
Cagayan De Oro
National Finals in Iloilo

See you all at the race track!

39th Milo Marathon National Finals - Result

MILO welcomed over 14,000 runners in the finale of the 39th National MILO Marathon held in Clark Pampanga;  
Defending MILO Marathon King Rafael Poliquit and MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal successfully held on to their crowns in the National Finals of the 39th National MILO Marathon held in Angeles, Pampanga on Sunday, as they beat fierce opposition in the 42K centrepiece event. Almost 14,100 happy runners enjoyed the scenic route, and despite the challenge brought about by the rain, the race was very safe and successful.

MILO welcomed over 14,000 runners in the finale of the 39th National MILO Marathon held in Clark Pampanga

Tabal joins the league of National MILO Marathon female legends who have won three consecutive championships namely: Arsenia Sagaray (1992, 1993, 1994), and Christabel Martes (1999, 2000, 2001).   While Poliquit clinched his second consecutive MILO Marathon King title. The champions received PHP 150,000 in cash and a trophy each. Tabal received an additional PHP 250,000 for placing second in the 42K female open category. Both will also be sent by MILO to the USA on all-expense paid trips to represent the Philippines in the prestigious 2016 Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon.

They did it again. Mary Joy Tabal and Rafael Poliquit stole the show as the winners of the full marathon centerpiece event of the 39th National MILO Marathon National Finals in Pampanga.

It was a tight race at the top, with back-to-back champion Poliquit finishing first with a time of 02:36:12, relegating rival Juneil Languido to second place with a time of 02:36:21. Maclin Sadia (02:37:43) followed in third. Poliquit, who was last year’s surprise winner, shared that being able to defend his title is definitely special. 

“It’s such a blessing to win my second title in a row.  I can’t explain the feeling. I’m proud because all of the hardships and the challenges I faced during my preparations are worth it.” ~Rafael Poliquit~

Air Force member Rafael Poliquit strikes a back to back feat as the MILO Marathon King two times in a row

In the distaff side, three-time MILO Marathon Queen Tabal ruled with a time of 02:48:24, with Mary Grace Delos Santos (03:02:21) and Christabel Martes (03:02:29) placing second and third, respectively. Tabal shared that she was under so much pressure coming into the race, because everyone was expecting her to win again. 

“I couldn’t help but cry when I crossed the finish line.  I’m so happy and relieved. I wouldn’t have achieved this without the help, prayers and support of my family, friends, and my coach Philip Duenas.” `Mary Joy Tabal~

Tabal joins the league of National MILO Marathon female legends who have won three consecutive championships.

Kenyan runners dominated the 42K open category, with James Tallam (02:20:10) leading the male category, followed by Josphat Kiptanui (02:20:49) and Julius Keprotich Seurei (02:21:54). In the female category, Elizabeth Rumokol (02:43:45) led the ranks, with Mary Joy Tabal (02:48:24) and Margaret Wangui Njuguna (02:49:32) completing the top three. Runners of all ages joined in the 3K, 5K, 10K and 21K divisions, and well-known personalities, including Yayo Aguila, Ara Mina and JC Parker, also joined in the grand finale.

MILO Sports Executive Andrew Neri expressed his heartfelt gratitude for another amazing marathon season.

“We at MILO would like to thank all of our partners who supported us at the 39th National MILO Marathon. Today’s successful race is testament to our runners’ passion and dedication to move forward in their champion journey.  Next year is the 40th year of the MILO Marathon, and we would like to invite everyone to join us in celebrating this very important milestone. Congratulations to all and see you next year!” ~MILO Sports Executive Andrew Neri~

The fresh air and spacious race routes in Clark were enjoyed by the participants of 39th National MILO Marathon National Finals in Pampanga.

The young crowd bursted in cheer during the Cheerleeding Competition side event of the 39th National MILO Marathon National Finals in Pampanga.

The UP Pep Squad put up a jaw dropping dance routine during side events of the 39th National MILO Marathon National Finals in Pampanga


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