Five-time MILO Marathon King Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista and veteran MILO Marathon winner Luisa Raterta returned to the top as they claimed the prized spots in the centerpiece 42K event at the 40thNational MILO Marathon Manila qualifying leg held on Sunday. Participants and spectators enjoyed the good weather in the SM Mall of Asia grounds, with almost 33,000 runners crossing the finish line.
First wave of runners commences the race: the Manila qualifying race of the 40th National MILO Marathon was able to gather almost 33,000 runners.
Buenavista and Raterta each took home P50,000 in cash and a trophy, and booked their slots to the National Finals in Iloilo on for a chance to be crowned the MILO Marathon King and Queen. Both will go head-to-head with the country’s best runners in a new, refreshing race experience away from the hustle and bustle of Manila. The lucky winners who will take the coveted titles will also have the chance to compete in an international marathon in 2017 on all-expense paid trips from MILO as part of their prizes.
Luisa Raterta and Eduardo "Vertek" Buenavista hoist their trophies as the 42K Female and Male winners of the 40th National MILO Marathon Manila qualifying race. Both were awarded by (from bottom left) Sherilla Bayona, Business Executive Manager for Beverages, Nestle Philippines and Ellen Isturis, MILO Team Lead.
Leading the pack, Buenavista clocked in at , followed by Cresenciano Sabal ( ) in second place and Roger Denolo (02:54:53) in third. In the distaff side, Raterta posted a time of 03:15:00, with Jho-an Banayag (03:17:47) and Cinderella Lorenzo (03:20:03) placing second and third place, respectively.
Eduardo "Vertek" Buenavista was able to set another all-time high for achieving his fifth win as the 42K Male Winner of the 40th National MILO Marathon Manila qualifying race.
The 37-year-old Buenavista did not let pain faze him. He incurred a foot injury last December and had to go through a tough recovery process.
“This is my first 42K race in 2016. I still feel pain in my foot, and I joined today’s race because I wanted to see if I can handle the intensity of the 42K event now. I’m glad that I’m recovering well and hopefully I can prepare fully for the National Finals. It’s also my goal to beat my MILO Marathon record time.” ~Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista~
Buenavista’s 15-year-old son, Eduard Josh, is following his father’s footsteps. He also competed in his first 5K race and placed 7th with a time of 19:09. The father and son pair trains together for their races in uphill roads in Antipolo.
Raterta’s inspiration is also her children. The 35-year-old Sta. Rosa, Laguna local shared that her eldest daughter wants to be just like her.
“I always tell my children to trust in their selves, to work hard and persevere because it’s not easy to achieve success. This is my fourth win in the Manila leg of the MILO Marathon. My goal now is to train well and improve my performance so I can achieve my target of being in the top overall female runners in the National Finals." ~Luisa Raterta~
Raterta also shared that she did not expect to win because of fierce competition from her rivals.
Four-time winner of the National MILO Marathon Manila qualifying races Luisa Raterta (right) gutted through the streets of Metro Manila to reach the finish line.
Luisa Raterta, 40th NMM Manila 42K Female Winner and Eduardo Buenavista, 40th NMM Manila Male Winner celebrate their victory with Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Marketing Manager (far right) and Coach Rio de la Cruz, RunRio (far left).
Joining in the fun, celebrities Erwan and Solenn Heusaff, Nico Bolzico, Yael Yuzon, Aga Mulach and Charlene Gonzales also conquered the running routes as they helped energize champions and inspire others who truly idolize them. Families, kids and students also stepped up to the challenge in the 3K and 5K running events. Dingdong Dantes was also present to support his sister who joined the race.
The next qualifying leg will take place in Batangas (August 7), followed by Lucena (), Naga (), Tagbilaran (), Cebu (), Dumaguete (), Davao (), General Santos (), Cagayan De Oro (), and Butuan (). The National Finals will be held on in Iloilo City.