Dagupan City, Philippines, 17 July 2016 – The electric opening race of the 40th National MILO Marathon kicked off with over 9,300 runners crossing the finish line in Dagupan, Pangasinan. Last year’s Dagupan champion Cesar Castañeto placed first once again in the 21K male category, together with Lany Cardona in the female category. They each took home the top purse of P10,000 in cash and a trophy, and booked their slots to the National Finals in Angeles on December 6 to try and claim the MILO Marathon King and Queen titles.
Castañeto posted a time of 01:11:23 to clinch first place, while Julius Sermona (01:13:38) and Hernane Sore (01:14:56) grabbed the second and third places, respectively. In the distaff side, Cardona clocked in at 01:31:48, followed by Shane Acosta (01:42:27) in second place and Eunice Lata-an (01:44:11) in third.
The National MILO Marathon proves that its champions are truly agents of motivation who inspire others to achieve their goals. A two-time silver medalist at the 2015 Philippine National Games, the 27-year-old Castañeto shares that former MILO Marathon Queen Cristabel Martes is the one training him to be in tiptop shape. “I am grateful for all the motivation Cristabel has been giving me,” said Castañeto. “All her coaching, tips and advice has pushed me to focus and persevere in my training.” Castañeto has been running in the National MILO Marathon since he was in elementary.
Cardona, a 25-year-old full time runner from Lingayen, is also a MILO Marathon regular, having won first place in Dagupan thrice. Fresh from her first place win in the Phuket International Marathon held last June, Cardona added another feather to her cap today. “I was not expecting to win because I am not that prepared for this leg. I did not have enough time to train,” shared Cardona. “I will now train for the Singapore Marathon and Hong Kong Marathon, which will also prepare me for the MILO Marathon National Finals in December.”
The country’s premiere running event is also a training ground of champions. Two-time SEA Games gold medalist Christopher Ulboc also participated in the 10K race and placed second in the men’s category. “I participate in the MILO Marathon often to prepare for the international races I join,” stated Ulboc. “It really helps me improve my time, endurance and race performance.”
50-year-old veteran Graciano “Totoy” Santos, who has been joining the MILO Marathon since its 23rd season, is another inspiring champion in his own right. He started joining the race in 1999 just for fun and for fitness. “I used to be obese and the MILO Marathon really helped me in my journey to better health. It also helped me to push myself to the limit and achieve greater goals. I became better in the sport of running, and since 2002 I have been qualifying for the National Finals regularly,” shared Santos.
The next qualifying leg will take place in Tarlac on July 24 before heading to Metro Manila (July 31), Batangas (August 7), Lucena (August 14), Naga (August 28), Tagbilaran (September 18), Cebu (September 25), Dumaguete (October 2), Davao (October 9), General Santos (October 16), Cagayan De Oro (October 23), and Butuan (October 30). The National Finals will be held on December 4 in Iloilo City.
The 40th National MILO Marathon is made possible by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Department of Education and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, and is supported by Asics, Salonpas, TIMEX, 2XU, Endurance, Hisense, Maynilad and PhilamLife.
For more information on MILO Philippines, log on to the official website (http://www.milo.com.ph) or the MILO Philippines Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/milo.ph). Follow MILO on Twitter (@MiloPH) and Instagram (@MiloPhilippines).