6,500 runners filled the Batangas track today for the eighth qualifying leg of the 36th National MILO Marathon in Lipa City.
LIPA CITY, September 16, 2012 – Even with the continued heavy downpour, 6, 500 runners filled the Batangas track for the eighth leg of this year’s MILO races. Jujet de Asis of the Philippine Army and Janice Tawagin of the Lucena Striders served notice of their bid by ruling the men and women’s 21-k category respectively in the Lipa qualifying leg of the 36th National MILO Marathon Sunday in Lipa, Batangas.
Not even the disagreeing weather could dampen the spirit of De Asis, who finished the easy flat 21-k course in 1:16:15. He will be seeking action against the country’s top runner Eduardo Buenavista in the most awaited National Finals, which offers a whopping P150,000 prize for the champion in the local category and P300,000 in the open division of both men’s and women’s elite class.
A few meters behind De Asis was another veteran, Desamito Bernardo, who crossed the finish line in 1:17:10 for second place. Franklin Penalosa was a distant third in 1:22:54.
De Asis, a 10-year National MILO Marathon runner, aims to train for longer stamina and land a slot at the National Finals. “The race track felt longer than I expected. I wasn’t able to prepare for the last few meters and that kept me from reaching my personal goal. I am set to do an extensive conditioning to prepare my body for the long race in December,” said the Sultan Kudarat native.
In the distaff side, Tawagin, who clocked in at 1:39:35, was followed by Jocelyn Elijeran of Wednesday Groups in 1:48:40 for second place and Jennelyn Portuguez in 1:52:12 for third.
21-K track female division winner Tawagin aspires to become a member of the Philippine athletics team. “I’ve always dreamed of making it to the national team. I’m preparing myself for the big league by joining quality races such as the MILO marathon. I’m hoping to beat my time in the qualifying race by maintaining my discipline and building my strategies for the sport,” said the young athlete from Lucena City.
In the special awards category, Kolehiyo ng Lungsod ng Lipa celebrated a double victory after sending in 2,337 participants to wrap the Biggest Delegation award and accumulating an aggregate time of 19:56.76 to bag the Fastest Delegation award.
A total of 32 schools participated in the annual race, which was a clear manifestation of the growing popularity of the sport of running as the best way to maintain and develop a healthy body. Among these schools were Abundio Torre School, Anilao Elementary School, Banuyo Elementary School, BCas Lipa City, Bulacnin National High School, Calaca Elementary School, Canossa Academy, and Dagatan Elementary School.
55-year old Julita Somoso, who hails from the host city, raced to beat 144 runners by placing sixth in the Lipa qualifying leg. Somoso led younger 21-K female runners at the beginning of the race but was unable to maintain her pace. Nonetheless, Somoso reaffirms the numerous benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle by joining MILO races.
MILO also strives to develop the future of the Filipino youth by promoting and actualizing its advocacy program, ‘Help Give Shoes’, which has already reached 18,200 underprivileged school children nationwide. Almost 500 recipients from the five beneficiary schools in Lipa City namely, San Isidro Elementary School, Pinagkawitan National High School, Rizal Elementary School, San Salvador Loob PS, and Paninsingin Public School, also joined the race.
After the Lipa City, Batangas Leg, the MILO races will proceed to Puerto Princesa, Palawan on September 23 for the last Luzon elimination. The Visayas run will then follow starting in Tagbilaran City, Bohol on September 30, then Cebu City on October 7, Bacolod on October 14 and the last Visayas swing in Iloilo City on October 28, before the Mindanao leg commences in General Santos on November 4, Davao City on November 11, Butuan City on November 18 and Cagayan de Oro City on November 25. The 36th MILO Marathon National Finals will be on December 9 at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds in Pasay City.
The 36th National MILO Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, SM Mall of Asia and Reebok, along with partnerships with the Department of Education and the Philippine Olympic Committee. For more information on the race and its advocacy, visit the MILO marathon website or access the MILO Philippines fanpage on Facebook. Follow MILO on Twitter (@MILOPH).