News Release – Butuan leg of the 38th National MILO Marathon

Queen Tabby retains her throne at the 38th Nat’l MILO Marathon Butuan race

Elite runners Tabal, Zabala excel in 21K race event

 Photo1The 38th National MILO Marathon sets the largest race in Butuan City with almost 10,000 runners in attendance.

BUTUAN City, Philippines, 19 October 2014 – Record-holding and reigning MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal added another feather to her cap as she clinched another victory at the 38th MILO Marathon qualifying race in Butuan City, the biggest race in the city to date, with almost 10,000 runners in action on Sunday. Tabal won first place in the 21K female category, while fellow elite runner Gerald Zabala topped the ranks in the 21K male category.

Each received a cash prize of P10,000 and a trophy. In addition to the prizes, Zabala has also secured his slot in the upcoming National Finals on December 7 at the Mall of Asia grounds in Manila. Tabal, by virtue of her triumph last year, was already granted a slot for the finals. Both will join their fiercest rivals in a heated finale as they battle for the MILO Marathon King and Queen titles. As an added level of prestige to the competition, MILO will send this year’s King and Queen to the 2015 Tokyo Marathon, with trips all expenses paid.

 Photo2Elite runners Jerald Zabala and Mary Joy Tabal stamped their supremacy as 21K race victors of the 38th National MILO Marathon in Butuan City.

Fresh from her record-breaking victory in the 2014 Seoul Race, Tabal clocked in at 01:20:46, just a second shy of her new best personal record of 1:19:37. It was a very comfortable race for the 25-year-old Cebuana, who finished with a gap of 12 minutes from second placer Michell Ann Aclo (01:42:30). Jenefer Paloma claimed third place (01:44:05).*

 Photo4 Reigning MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal is on the run to defend her title in the National Finals of the 38th National MILO Marathon.

Tabby, as she is fondly known, is now looking to defend her MILO Marathon Queen crown in December. “I really want to run in the Tokyo marathon. My experience in the Paris marathon was amazing, and I want to experience running in another top international marathon. Even if it was quite tough getting acclimatized to the weather, I was able to get in to the Top 20,” shared Tabal. “Hopefully I will be named the Queen again. My coach Philip Dueñas constantly motivates me and makes sure I have the proper training, diet and recovery. I am very grateful to him.”

Having won numerous honors in both local and international races, Tabal has become a celebrity in her own right. However, she does not let the spotlight distract her, and instead, uses it to inspire others. “It’s heartwarming and humbling that a lot of people look up to me. I also get inspired by them. It makes me happy knowing that I am able to inspire others to pursue running,” said Tabal. ”My parents and my family are my biggest fans. It’s funny because when they see me in the news and newspapers, they feel like they are becoming famous, too. They are very proud of me. They also motivate and inspire me to keep on doing my best.”

In the men’s category, competition proved to be tougher, with top contender Jerald Zabala beating Bobby Tadlas only by less than a second. Zabala recorded a personal best time of 01:13:49, while second placer Bobby Tadlas posted a time of 01:14:00, and third placer Ramil Neri with a times of 01:15:09.*

 Photo3Seasoned runner Jerald Zabala finally claimed his victory in the 38th National MILO Marathon in Butuan City

Zabala, a 26-year-old hailing from Cagayan De Oro, has definitely come a long way since he started running. Though he has been an elite runner for just four years, he has been joining the MILO Marathon for 10 years already, and has been consistently qualifying for the National Finals. “This is my first time to win first place, and I’m very happy that I was also able to break my personal record,” said Zabala. “I didn’t expect to win because I wasn’t able to train properly. My wife is in Manila, so I’m the one who is taking care of our son, whose birthday is today. I dedicate my victory to him.”

Zabala has also been joining the MILO R2-APEX Running Clinics in Cagayan De Oro for three years now. “I am very grateful to Coach Jim Saret. I have been able to use everything he taught me in my training,” said Zabala. “I will continue applying what he taught me to my training for the National Finals.”

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.

Photo5 Participants of all ages enjoy a good run under the beautiful weather in Butuan during the 38th National MILO Marathon.

The remaining qualifying races will be held in 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.

The 38th National MILO Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, ASICS, Lenovo, Manila Bulletin and Gatorade, along with endorsements from the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

For more information on MILO Philippines, log on to the official website ( or the MILO Philippines Facebook page ( Follow MILO on Twitter (@MiloPH) and Instagram (@MiloPhilippines).

* – results as of 19 October 2014


About MILO

The MILO brand is the world’s leading chocolate malt beverage that can be prepared with hot or cold milk or water. Given its popularity it is a “must have” product for food service operators particularly in Asia, Africa and Oceania.

MILO also promotes participation in sports through its Summer Sports Clinics, MILO-B.E.S.T. Center Training Program, MILO Marathon, and MILO Little Olympics. The leading beverage brand believes that these contribute to the holistic development of Filipino champions in sports and in life. 2014 marks MILO’s 50th year in the country.

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 National MILO Marathon has grown into a globally renowned running event having been certified by the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and hosts foreign marathoners from Kenya, Ethiopia, and other countries across the world. The race is organized by RunRio, Inc.

About Nestle Philippines

Over a hundred years after it first started operations in the country, Nestle Philippines, Inc. (NPI) today is a robust and stable organization, proud of its role in bringing the best food and beverage throughout the stages of the Filipino consumers’ lives. The Company employs more than 3,200 men and women nationwide, and is now among the country’s Top 10 Corporations.

Driven by its mission to nurture generations of Filipino families, Nestle today produces and markets products under some of the country’s well-known brands such as NESCAFE, NIDO, MILO, NESTEA, MAGGI, BEAR BRAND, NESTLE and PURINA, among others. Its product range has expanded to include coffee, milk, beverages, non-dairy creamer, food, infant nutrition, ice cream and chilled dairy, breakfast cereals, confectionery and pet care.

Press contacts:
Clarice Abacan / Andrea Alido
Strategic Edge, Inc.
892-0247 or 50

About Kalongkong Hiker

I am Paolo Mercado for 20 years I've been riding a bike, walking a lot and running a lot. I am Kalongkong Hiker, a trail runner, mountaineer and a biker that can also write a blog of my travels, adventures and places that I visited through walking, running and biking. I write to encourage others to stay healthy and fit. #KeepOnRunning #ShareTheRoad #KalongkongHiker
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