The country’s premiere footrace kicks off in Palawan
Manila, Philippines – Norlan Warizal and Bernardita Mag-Aso ruled the centerpiece 21-K events in dominant fashion on Sunday as the Puerto Princesa leg officially kicked off the 37th National MILO Marathon in Palawan. A total of 6,846 runners joined the event.
Under an overcast sky, 28-year old Warizal, who also topped last year’s Puerto Princesa leg, sustained his mastery over category rivals and submitted a time of 1:17:55 that proved enough to hold off counterparts Orly Maestro (1:21:56) and Mark Julius Mendoza (1:22:01).
In the distaff side, 26-year old Mag-Aso proved she’s a cut above the rest by clocking in at 1:21:56, way ahead of rivals Rowena Quipquip (1:53:32) and Joanna Flores (2:00:38) who came in at second and third, respectively.
Warizal and Mag-Aso both received P10, 000 and a trophy while clinching their spots along with 13 others in the National Finals set on December 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds. This season’s winners will get the chance to represent the country at the esteemed Paris Marathon in 2014.
“I am passionate about my job but I also carry great enthusiasm for running. I took a one-week break from my profession to significantly prepare for today’s race,” said Warizal, a Nestle merchandiser. He has been a MILO marathon runner for seven years. “Despite the dreary weather, the terrain remained favorable to complement my pace and help me beat my final time in last year’s Palawan leg.”
University of Sto. Tomas Library Science graduate Mag-Aso, who previously ruled the Puerto Princesa leg in 2010, said her focus is clearly on the bigger task ahead, “My trainer and I aim to compete and place in the 42-K distance in this season’s National Finals. This victory takes us a step further towards realizing that dream.” Mag-Aso’s impressive qualifying time earned her an all-expense paid trip to the finale.
Getting a fair share of the limelight was Isidro Vildosola, a handicapped runner, who finished fifth in the 21-K men’s event with a time of 1:24:11. Vildosola is an eight-year Philippine Paralympic delegate and has represented the country at the London Paralympic Games in 2012. The 37-year old amputee also bested 2005 National MILO Marathon General Santos leg runners in the half-marathon distance.
As an ongoing commitment to develop sports in the country, MILO’s Help Give Shoes advocacy aims to provide a total of 34,200 pairs of shoes to various public schools across the country. A total of 500 pairs were delivered to beneficiary schools today in Puerto Princesa, namely San Miguel National High School, Bancao Bancao Elementary School, Calategas Elementary School, Tiniguiban Elementary School, and Abanico Elementary School.
“With today’s display of Filipino talent and thrilling rivalries, we expect the 37th season of the National MILO Marathon to make a headway for outstanding athletic action across. MILO is ecstatic to once again provide a quality platform for runners that features global standards to challenge and advance the Philippine athletic community,” said MILO Sports Executive Andrew Neri.
The qualifying race resumes in Lipa City, Batangas this Sunday before taking its act to Naga (July 14), San Pablo (July 21), Manila (July 28), Iloilo (August 4), Dumaguete (August 11), Tagbilaran (September 15), Cebu (September 22), Cagayan de Oro (September 29), Butuan (October 6), Davao (October 13), General Santos (October 20), Baguio (November 3), Dagupan (November 10), Tarlac (November 17) and Angeles (November 24).
The 37th National MILO Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, Reebok, SMART and SM Mall of Asia, along with endorsements from the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission 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).
About the National MILO Marathon
The National MILO Marathon is an annual marathon event open to amateur and professional runners. From its humble beginnings in 1974 as a single marathon race in Metro Manila attended by 747 participants, the National MILO Marathon has grown to be the biggest, longest, grandest national running event in the country attracting more than hundreds of thousands of runners across the country. The race is organized by RunRio, Inc.