A Champion returns to win the 37th National MILO Marathon San Pablo raceThree-time MILO Marathon King Cresenciano Sabal and Janice Tawagin set the pace for the 21K division run of the 37th National MILO Marathon Sunday in San Pablo, Laguna. Both runners received a cash prize of P10,000.00, a trophy, and a coveted spot in the National Finals for their respective victories.
Sabal, Tawagin seal 21-K distance to vie for finale crowns
A total of 7,778 runners competed in the race.
As an added incentive to the prestige of winning the country’s premier footrace, MILO will be sending this season’s MILO Marathon King and Queen to compete with the world’s finest athletes at the Paris Marathon in 2014.
Despite today’s challenging route, Sabal persevered and clinched victory at a swift 1:17:11, followed closely by Johnny Espana (1:17:38) and Bernardo Desamito Jr (1:19:01). The 34-year old Philippine Army bet took home the National MILO Marathon crown in 2005, 2007 and 2009 and won the 42K event of the Summit Water CamSur Marathon with his brother Elmer in 2011.
“I have been running with my brothers since our days in the province. Back then we ran to get an education, now we run for our own personal goals. My goal for this race is to win for a patient whose medical expenses I’m supporting. What I love about running is that you don’t have to invest so much money. Anyone can run. Anyone can win a marathon.” ~ Cresenciano Sabal~At the National Finals, Sabal will be running alongside younger brother Gerald, who qualified in the earlier Lipa leg, and wife Ailene Tolentino, who finished second in today’s 21K race.
In the distaff side, 22-year old Tawagin crossed the finish line at 1:33:01, outpacing Sabal’s spouse Tolentino (1:36:37) and Marilyn Bermundo (1:42:43). Tawagin also topped last year’s MILO Marathon 21K female division race in Lipa.
“My training focuses on distance running and speed. I train for distance in the morning and for speed in the afternoon. For the National Finals, my strategy is to reserve my energy at the start of the race and accelerate my pace closer to the finish line.” ~Janice Tawagin~
Today’s race also proved to be a family affair, as brothers Alex and James Bryle Ballester, both sons of two-time MILO Marathon King Allan Ballester, competed and placed seventh and fifth in the 5K and 3K division races, respectively.
“I aspire to become a marathon champion like my dad and dream of one day being able to compete in international races. My dad helps me train for the race through a regimen of jogging and speed work,” ~Alex Ballester~Alex is just 15 years old. Sisters Noraisah and Sarah Zen Saripada also showed that speed runs in their blood as they finished in fourth and sixth place in the 3K division race.
“Each year, we see a diverse set of runners who run for heath, glory and good cause, but what brings everyone together is always family. Building the family bond has always been the most powerful motivation for our runners to cross the finish line. We at MILO have been and continue to be inspired by the unwavering support of Filipino families from across the country. We hope to return the favor by providing families with a quality sports event to engage themselves in and to grow the strongest ties.” ~Andrew Neri-Milo Sports Executive~As an ongoing commitment to develop sports in the country, MILO’s Help Give Shoes advocacy provides pairs of rubber shoes to various public schools across the country. A total of 500 pairs were delivered to beneficiary schools today in San Pablo, namely Placido Escudero Elementary School, San Diego Elementary School, San Lucas 1 Elementary School, Sto. Angel Elementary School, and San Bartolome National High School. With the invaluable support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO has given a total of 26,200 shoes to date.
The qualifying race will resume in Manila on July 28, before advancing to Iloilo (August 4), Dumaguete (August 11), Tagbilaran (September 15), Cebu (September 22), Cagayan de Oro (September 29), Butuan (October 6), Davao (October 13), General Santos (October 20), Baguio (November 3), Dagupan (November 10), Tarlac (November 17) and Angeles (November 24). The 27th MILO Marathon National Finals will then be on December 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.
The 37th National MILO Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, Reebok, SMART and SM Mall of Asia, along with endorsements from the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee. For more information on the race and its advocacy, visit the MILO marathon website (milo.com.ph) or access the MILO Philippines fanpage on Facebook. Follow MILO on Twitter (@MILOPH).