Returning champs rule 38th National MILO Marathon Puerto Princesa race
21 runners qualify for the National Finals
Four-time winner Norlan Warizal and returning champ Jila Dela Rosa proved their authority in the 21K events at the Puerto Princesa of the 38th National MILO Marathon Qualifying Race on Sunday. From about 7,000 runners who joined the qualifying race, Warizal and Dela Rosa, together with 19 other runners, booked their slots for the National Finals in Manila on December 7 for a chance to claim the MILO Marathon King and Queen crowns. MILO will send this year’s King and Queen to Japan on an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Tokyo Marathon. Along with the slot in the finals, both Warizal and Dela Rosa received P10,000 in cash and a trophy as their prize.
Norlan Warizal and Jila Dela Rosa defeated top contenders in the 21K race of the Puerta Princesa Leg of the 38th National MILO Marathon.
Elite runners braved an exciting route filled with uphill challenges. Warizal, a 29-year-old native of Sta. Maria, Puerto Princesa, emerged victorious for the 21K men’s category with a time of 01:19:13, beating rivals Ben Alejandrino (01:21:26) and Nicko Cortes (01:22:42). On the distaff side, 20-year-old Dela Rosa, also a local of Puerto Princesa, convincingly reclaimed her crown in the race, finishing at an impressive 01:39:24 Bernardita Mag-aso 01:47:56 Michelle Anne Tibagacay 01:51:37
Winning is not new for the seven-year veteran MILO marathoner but he always cherishes each hard-earned victory. As a logistics helper, he helps deliver MILO and other Nestle products to sari-sari stores. In the past few weeks, Warizal shared that he usually does overtime at work and had to adjust his training.
“I prepared for only two months, starting in July, but I couldn’t really focus on training because my job comes first. I really love my job, and of course I love running, but work is my priority.”
“When I have time, I try to run at least five times a week, every morning at 4:30. I couldn’t run in the afternoons anymore because I’m too tired by then. I’m very happy that I still placed first despite feeling that my training isn’t enough. I went all out in this race, even if I started to feel cramping in my legs, I willed myself to go on. ~Norlan Warizal~
21K male category winner Norlan Warizal dashes into action.
For youngster Dela Rosa, winning also comes almost naturally. She started running at five years old, joining her father, also a runner, in his training. Like Warizal, preparing for the race was also a challenge for her. As a varsity member of the University of Santo Tomas’ track and field team, they focused on middle distance training for the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) track meets.
“I didn’t know I was training already then. I thought it was just fun and games. Eventually, my dad entered me in running events with him and we kept on winning, so I decided to pursue running.”
“I took my chances in joining the MILO marathon this year even if I felt that I didn’t prepare well for it. The uphill route proved to be very challenging because it consumes a lot more energy than running on flat surfaces. It was quite hard to maintain momentum. My strategy was to run at my own pace. It’s okay for others to go ahead of me, as long as I did my best. I’m glad that my best was enough for me to win this race, but I need to prepare well for the National Finals.” ~Jila Dela Rosa~
21K female winner Jila Dela Rosa crosses the finish line of the 38th National MILO Marathon in Puerta Princesa.
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.
Warizal and Dela Rosa both have high praises for MILO’s Help Give Shoes Advocacy.
“This project is really admirable, because young runners who have great potential will be encouraged to pursue running. It’s hard to run barefooted, or wearing slippers. It’s such a great feeling to be able to help fellow runners.” ~Jila Dela Rosa~
“I hope MILO continues to help the youth realize their dreams. A lot of children and even adults are being helped by the MILO Marathon and the MILO Little Olympics. It’s also very good exposure especially for the kids. They are able to get into sports and avoid vices and bad influences. We are very grateful to MILO.” ~Norlan Warizal~
Palawenyos conquered the test of endurance to reach the finish line in the Puerta Princesa leg of the 38th National MILO Marathon.
Aspiring runners enjoy an exciting race event at the 38th National MILO Marathon in Puerta Princesa.
The qualifying race will resume in Lipa on September 14 and will head to 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.