38th MILO Marathon: Tarlac Eliminations Leg Result

The King claims another victory in the 38th National MILO Marathon Tarlac race
Buenavista, Dela Torre conquer 21K distance to vie for finale crowns

Reigning MILO Marathon King Eduardo Buenavista and FEU Manila varsity runner Mary Grace Dela Torre bested their rivals in the 21K division run at the 38th National MILO Marathon on Sunday in Tarlac City. Almost 13,000 runners joined this leg and 39 qualified for the National Finals.

Almost 13,000 runners race to the finish line for the 3rd leg of the 38th National Milo Marathon in Tarlac, City.

Buenavista and Dela Torre were awarded a cash prize of P10,000, a trophy, and a  spot in the National Finals on December 7. MILO will be sending this season’s MILO Marathon King and Queen to compete alongside elite runners from across the globe in the 2015 Tokyo Marathon.

FEU Track and Field Women’s varsity, Mary Grace Dela Torre and 2013 MILO Marathon King and SEA Games Gold Medalist, Eduardo Buenavista are this leg’s victors of the 21K race for female and male categories respectively.

Five-time MILO Marathon titlist Buenavista emerged victiorious with a time of 01:10:30, finishing ahead of Ferdinand Corpuz (01:14:36) and Jujet Pacsis De Asis (01:15:34). 21K first timer Dela Torre posted a time of 01:46:38, beating contenders Rowena Valdez (01:48:30) and Shane Acosta (01:49:58).***

The two-time Olympian and three-time SEA Games gold medalist Buenavista persevered through the hot and dry weather conditions and pushed on to claim another sweet victory.  The 35-year-old native of South Cotabato is a sergeant of the Philippine Air Force and a member of the Philippine National Team.  He is fondly called Vertek by his friends.
“The weather today was challenging. I’m used to the cold weather in Baguio, where I train with the national team. Thankfully there are adequate water stations throughout the race to help us cool down, I am really focused with my training and my target is to win in the finals. Because of MILO, I was able to experience running in the 2014 Paris Marathon. I would like to defend my crown as MILO Marathon King and run in the Tokyo Marathon next year.” ~Eduardo Buenavista~
It might be 18-year-old Dela Torre’s first time to run in the 21K event but she eagerly grabbed her chance to shine. The FEU Manila full-time scholar and varsity runner who regularly joins MILO races felt that it was time to step up to a tougher challenge with a bigger purpose.
“A month ago, I told my coach that I wanted to run 21K. She asked me if I could do it, and I requested for her help with my training and preparations for the race. It was difficult, but I had to fight through it so I could win the prize and give back to my aunt who supports us. She is unable to walk anymore.  Since this is my first time running in this event, I was very scared to lead, so I paced myself along with the other runners. At the last stretch, I felt so exhausted but I refused to give up. I just prayed hard and gave my all so I can win, because I really want to help my aunt. She is my inspiration in running.” ~Mary Grace Dela Torre.
10-year-old Matthew Salvador is another inspiring runner who joined today’s race. The 5th grader from Sta. Cruz, Tarlac is afflicted with autism, but the condition does not stop him from pursuing his passion for running.
“I told my mom, Ma, can you please buy me 300g of MILO? I want to join the MILO race. I was nervous, but I am happy because I met new friends and I had my picture taken with Coach Rio. I really like running because I’m able to exercise. I think physical fitness is very important.”  ~Matthew Salvador ~
“Each year, runners of all ages and backgrounds join the MILO marathon, and it is truly heartwarming to see how everyone is dedicated in their passion for running.  We at MILO have been and continue to be inspired by the unwavering support of Filipino runners and their families from across the country. We hope to return the favor by providing everyone with a quality sports event to engage themselves in and inspire others to become champions in their own right.”   ~Andrew Neri- MILO Sports Executive~
Coach Rio Dela Cruz raises his hands up together with kid racers in Tarlac.

With the support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO’s Help Gives Shoes advocacy will provide 16,000 underprivileged youth with brand new running shoes and reach the 50,000 mark this year. As MILO celebrates its 50th year, Help Give Shoes aims to make the donation to students in Yolanda-hit cities, particularly Tacloban, Ormoc, and Eastern Samar.

Children from different schools in Tarlac gather for the 3K and 5K races.

The qualifying race will resume in Angeles on July 20 before heading to Manila (July 27), Naga (August 24), Lucena (August 31), Puerto Princesa (September 7), Lipa (September 14), Iloilo (September 21), Bacolod (September 28), Tagbilaran (October 5), Cebu (October 12), Butuan (October 19), Cagayan De Oro (November 9), General Santos (November 16), and Davao (November 23). The National Finals will be held on December 7 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.

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