With Eduardo Buenavista at the forefront, about 21,388 runners marked a milestone in MILO Marathon history, as organizers report that they surpassed the initial 200,000 collective target by over 10,000 runners, shattering last year’s 200,000 headcount.
After an excellent display of athletic prowess, last year’s MILO Marathon champions James Tallam and Mary Grace de los Santos made a swift comeback and reclaimed their second consecutive title in the 42K Open category run. Tallam posted a remarkable finishing time of 2:26:34 and led fellow Kenyans Josphat Too (2:28:52) and Alex Melly (2:29:06) towards a 1-2-3 finish. In the women’s division, 25-year-old de los Santos dismissed a strong line of contenders to bag the MILO Marathon race title and lead two-time MILO
Marathon Queen Jho-an Banayag (2:55:56) and Kenyan Everline Atancha (3:03:39) towards an easy finish.
With the guidance of six-time MILO Marathon champion Roy Vence, de los Santos developed the high-level performance that won her the coveted crown. The Sibugay native shattered her personal best mark with a 2:49:29 finish, but fell short to beat Jho-An Banayag’s outstanding record in MILO history.
Mary Grace De los Santos heads for a perfect finish at the 42-K Women's Open Category of the 36th National MILO Marathon Manila Finals Sunday.
“Maintaining focus and consistently setting the pace in every turn were key to my victory today. I pulled away in the 18-km mark, and that guaranteed a solid distance from the other runners.”.
“I will come back next year not only to challenge Jho-An’s time, but to help the Filipino athletic community develop the sport further and nurture the next generation of powerful athletes.” ~ Mary Grace delos Santos~
***Current men’s event record-holder and three-time MILO Marathon King Eduardo Buenavista returned for a stellar win in the 42K Local category race and posted an impressive time of 2:29:45. Completing the top 3 cast behind Buenavista were early favorites Eric Panique (2:32:08) and last year’s fifth placer Jason Agravante (2:34:58).
“The Kenyan line-up presented a massive challenge to all the local bets in today’s race, but the amount of agility and endurance that resulted from a year’s worth of preparation forced me towards the finish line,”
“I may have been unable to break Tallam’s control on the road, but I believe that the Filipino spirit exhibited during the race did not fail to inspire young runners to build their potential and set a great future for sports in the country.” ~ Eduardo Buenavista ~
***Maintaining a swift stride in the women’s division 42K Local category race was 23-year-old trackster Mary Joy Tabal who posted an impressive 3:05:12. She adds this victory to several others in her career, including her victory in the 2011 Adidas King of the Road Southeast Asia meet and her record-breaking feat in the Singapore Sundown Marathon. Behind Tabal, four-time MILO Marathon Queen Christabel Martes (3:10:46) and Jennilyn Nobleza (3:22:03) settled for second and third place, respectively.
Tallam and de los Santos each received P 300,000 from the 42K Open category run, while Buenavista and Tabal took home P 150,000 from the 42K Local category run.
Kenyans led Filipino runners in the 21K Open category races and took home the P 15,000 top purse. David Kipsang took the lead in the men’s division race at 1:12:23, while Jackline Nzivo conquered the distaff division at 1:26:48. Trailing behind Kipsang and Nzivo were Rafael Poliquit (1:12:58) and Denis Isika (1:13:43) for the men’s category race, and Manila eliminations 21K winner Nhea Ann Barcena (1:30:55) and Janet Lumidao (1:33:28) for the women’s category race.
Dominating the men’s 21K Local category run was Immuel Camino (1:15:25), who posted an early lead against Roldan Verano (1:18:15) and Eligiran Nelson (1:18:45). In the women’s 21K Local category run, Jocelyn Elijeran finished swiftly at 1:43:03, followed by Marychiel Morales (1:43:54) and Librada Tamson (1:45:02). Camino and Elijeran each received P 8,000 for their efforts in the 21K Local category run.
In the special awards category, Fort Bonifacio High School copped the ‘Biggest Delegation’ award with a total of 1,575 runners, while Karuhatan National High School nabbed the ‘Fastest Delegation’ award with an aggregate time of 23:27.93.
Through its advocacy program called ‘Help Give Shoes’, which is now on its third year of staging, MILO donated a total of 1,000 shoes to public schools in Metro Manila as an ongoing commitment to develop the Filipino sports community. Students of CAA Main High School, Kapitbahayan Elementary School, Tipas National High School, Makati Science High School, Hulo Elementary School, Fort Bonifacio Elementary School, A. Villegas High School, Ramon Magsaysay High School, San Diego Elementary School and Pitogo High School were among the campaign’s most recent beneficiaries. Since the campaign’s conception, MILO has donated 24,200 shoes nationwide.
“We have seen a year of great talent, stirring victories, and humbling defeat in the National MILO Marathon. MILO has motivated Filipino athletes to run towards a brighter era of sports, and it will continue to provide opportunities for the youth,”
“We are working to launch the next phase of developing Philippine sports, and we are looking to do that with the support of our marathon runners and partners who share the same vision as ours.” ~Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Executive ~
A woman enjoys the 10-K track as the weather shifts at the 36th National MILO Marathon Manila Finals.
10-K category marathoners run for fitness and fun at the 36th National MILO Marathon Sunday in Pasay City.
Official race results here.