Unsung heroes dominate 38th National MILO Marathon Lucena race
50 runners qualify for the National Finals
Philippine Air Force Airman Anthony Nerza and Philippine Army Private Janice Tawa
in showcased their running prowess as they dominated in the 21K events at the Lucena leg of the 38th National MILO Marathon Qualifying Race on Sunday. About 10,000 runners joined the race, with 50 runners qualifying for the National Finals.
21K Winners Anthony Nerza and Janice Tawagin relish their hard earned victory in the Lucena race of the 38th National MILO Marathon.
Nerza and Tawagin each earned a cash prize of P10,000, a trophy, and a coveted slot in the National Finals slated on December 7. Both will join the country’s finest elite runners in their quest to clinch the MILO Marathon King and Queen crowns. As an added incentive, MILO will send this year’s King and Queen to Japan on an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Tokyo Marathon.
The runners were blessed with good weather and they surely used it to their advantage. The thrilling race saw Nerza finish ahead of Richard Salaño, who put up a good fight right to the final second. Nerza posted a time of 01:12:12, while Salaño clocked in at 01:12:39, finishing first and second place, respectively. Elmer Sabal came in at third place with a time of 01:16:07.
Champion Anthony Nerza conquers the 21K event of the 38th National MILO Marathon in Lucena City.
The 25-year-old Davaoeño, currently residing in Pasig, expressed his elation and relief in winning the race.
“It was really competitive, my fellow runners were ahead of me in the first 100 meters, and I was falling behind. I thought I wouldn’t be able to catch up, but thankfully I was able to do so and even won. I still have a long way to go in terms of my training. Every day, I run in the morning and in the afternoon. For the National Finals, I will add three-hour runs for endurance to improve my performance.” ~Anthony Nerza~
In the distaff side, Tawagin displayed a convincing victory with an impressive time of 01:29:59, relegating rivals Jeany Rose Hari (01:44:57) to second place, and Rose Ann Valencia (02:03:01) to third place.*
Tawagin, a 23-year-old local of Lucena, voiced her satisfaction over the race.
“I’m always proud to race in my hometown. I’m glad that the route was well-balanced. I was able to manage my time and pace well. The other contenders are also very good runners, and I’m sure that the competition will even be fiercer in the National Finals. I’ve been using my training for the AFP Olympics to help me prepare for the MILO Marathon. My everyday routine comprises of 5K runs and an extra two hours of training for endurance. My strategy for the finals needs to be adjusted because it’s a 42K event. Strength, endurance and discipline will be the areas I will focus on.” ~Janice Tawagin~
Nerza and Tawagin have been joining the National MILO Marathon for four years already. Both have been consistently winning in regional legs and qualifying for the National Finals.
“Anthony and Janice are only two of our many unsung heroes from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. We are proud to say that we are able to engage our local heroes to participate in the MILO marathon each year. We at MILO are delighted to honor their passion and devotion in serving the country, as well as their dedication to sports and athleticism. They are truly admirable champions who serve as inspirational models to all.” ~Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Marketing Manager~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.
Like father, like son: enjoying the race with big smiles
Budding running champs start the race with a bang at the 38th National MILO Marathon Lucena leg.
Coach Rio Dela Cruz and Lucena City Mayor Roderick Alcala strike a pose with young runners at the 38th National MILO Marathon Lucena leg.
The qualifying race will continue in Lucena on August 31, and will head to 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.