Manila, Philippines, July 14, 2013 – Eugene Postrado and Gemma Payong ruled the 21-K division run of the 37th National MILO Marathon Sunday in Naga City. Both runners received a cash prize of P10,000.00 and a trophy for their respective victories, but only Postrado earned himself a coveted spot in the National Finals on December 8.
Of the 6,601 runners who competed in the race, 19 other male runners also qualified for the National Finals. The stakes are higher for this season’s MILO Marathon King and Queen, as they will be competing alongside elite runners from across the world at the esteemed Paris Marathon in 2014.
34-year old Postrado used the fair weather to his advantage, and crossed the finish line at an impressive 1:16:08, outrunning counterparts Martin Balaybo (1:18:12) and Marino Jr. Lagyap (1:18:36). Last year, Postrado was the 2012 all-Filipino category winner of the 10-K Mayon Trail Run and the second runner-up of the 21-K Xterra Trail Run.
“I have been running for 16 years already, but this is only the second time I’ve qualified for the MILO Marathon National Finals. Qualifying for the finale is a huge accomplishment. I will continue to train hard and focus on my training regimen for the competition,” said Postrado. He has been running in the National MILO Marathon for over 8 years.
In the distaff side, 32-year old Payong clocked in at 1:48:53, way ahead of rivals Melissa Missy Hilario (1:55:43) and Ma. Jean Benito (2:05:53). Although the Naga-bred mother of four wasn’t able to secure a spot in the National Finals, she says she is determined to make a name for herself in the seasons ahead.
“This is the fourth time I’ve run in the MILO Marathon. My pace was fine but I struggled towards the end of the race,” said Payong. “I’m really not an athlete, but my family always encourages me to run. My husband is a trained runner who started during the 15th season of the MILO Marathon. He tells me that there’s nothing quite like the thrill of a national marathon. His determination never fails to inspire me.” Ernie Payong won the 10-K division run earlier today and finished with a time of 35:23.08.
“The National MILO Marathon has been inspired not only by talent and determination but by the unwavering support of Filipino families across the country. As MILO strives to raise champions, we will continue to motivate every athlete to embody the rich local values as they showcase their passion in each race,” said MILO Sports Executive Andrew Neri.
As an ongoing commitment to develop sports in the country, MILO’s Help Give Shoes advocacy provides pairs of rubber shoes to various public schools across the country. A total of 500 pairs were delivered to beneficiary schools today in Naga, namely San Jose High School, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture High School, Tinawagan Elementary School, Tigaon National High School, and Bonbon Central School. With the invaluable support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO has given a total of 25,700 shoes to date.
The qualifying race will resume in San Pablo on July 21, before taking its act to 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 27th MILO Marathon National Finals will then be on December 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.
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 (milo.com.ph) 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.
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