Cebu City launched a whopping 24,067 headcount at the ninth 37th National MILO Marathon regional race.
Local favorites John Philip Dueñas and Mary Joy Tabal headlined the 21K division run Sunday at the 37th National MILO Marathon Cebu qualifying race at the Cebu City Sports Center. This is Tabal’s third victory in the local leg, which marks the largest regional race of the season so far with a record-breaking headcount of 24,067 runners.
Dueñas and Tabal will lead other qualifiers to the National Finals in December, where they will join earlier qualifiers Elmer and Cresenciano Sabal, Eric Panique and Janice Tawagin. 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.
24-year old Tabal, who placed second in the 42K race of last year’s National Finals, answered the starting gun with urgency and finished at an impressive 1:24:50. The veteran runner earned herself an all-expenses paid trip to the finale in December and the Php 10,000.00 top purse. Earlier this year, she won the Adidas King of the Road 16.8K marathon, and was the fastest Filipina finisher at the Safeguard 2XU International Half-Marathon.
Tabal, who recently earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration, expressed that she constantly challenges herself to improve her performance. She said that she runs about 150 km per week to improve not only her speed but her endurance as well.
“Today, I met the male runners of the 21K division head on and matched their pace throughout the race. Competing with my strong male counterparts pushed me to run faster and achieve a better track record.” ~Mary Joy Tabal ~
Tabal and Dueñas have shared other victories in the local and international marathon scene, including the Sundown Marathon in Singapore and the 12-KM R-399: Live Your Dreams tribute run. Both runners also received special citations for exemplary performance in running at the 31st SAC-SMB Cebu Sports Awards.
Dueñas, who is Tabal’s training partner and coach since 2009, expressed that they will continue to work and train together to overcome their respective challenges.
“I am currently training to compete in more triathlons, while Mary Joy competes in more marathons. The National MILO Marathon is the perfect training ground for me to build my stamina and endurance particularly in running. [Through the race] I am able to challenge and compete with local and international talent, and I look forward to running alongside the nation’s best in the National Finals” ~John Philip Dueñas~A distinguished triathlete, Dueñas placed 3rd in the Filipino Elite male division of Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines, and was the winner of the 2013 Dipolog Centennial Triathlon. Despite qualifying for the finals six times prior in the regional races, this is Dueñas’ first title win for the National MILO Marathon.
Completing the top three cast in the men’s division race were Bonifacio Monjas (1:16:32) and Argie Tillor (1:19:57). Meanwhile, in the distaff division, last year’s MILO Marathon Tagbilaran 21K winner Christy Sevilleno settled for a far second at 1:40:58, and Sandra Soliano settled for third at 1:43:21.
“We are very proud to report that we’ve broken another record this year by surpassing last year’s massive headcount in Cebu. We also noticed a significant increase in the number of 21-K division runners, which only means that the competition has leveled up. The Visayas region has always produced some of the country’s finest athletes, including today’s multi-titled winners. We remain grateful for the invaluable support of the Cebuanos and look forward to what they’re taking to the track in the finale.” ~Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Executive~
MILO Sports Executive Andrew Neri (extreme left) and Head Race Organizer Rio Dela Cruz (extreme right) join Cebu City 21-K distance victors John Philip Dueñas and Mary Joy Tabal at the awarding ceremony of the local 37th National MILO Marathon qualifying leg in the Cebu City Sports Center.
With the support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO has given a total of 29,200 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 Cebu City, namely Marigondon National High School, Don Sergio Osmena Sr. Memorial National High School, San Nicolas Elementary School, Simeon Ayuda Elementary School and Pusok Elementary School.
The National MILO Marathon inspires not only athletic excellence and sportsmanship but also camaraderie in the Philippine sports community.
The qualifying race will resume in Cagayan de Oro on September 29, before advancing to Butuan (October 6), Davao (October 13), General Santos (October 20), Baguio (November 3), Dagupan (November 10), Tarlac (November 17) and Angeles (November 24). The 37th MILO Marathon National Finals will then be on December 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.
Click this link to view the complete race result.