Sunday, July 31, 2011

Banayag leads 1-2-3 Pinoy win

Heavy showers failed to stop two-time Milo Marathon Queen Jho-Ann Banayag from leading a 1-2-3 finish in the Metro Manila elimination of the 35th National MILO Marathon, which started and ended at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City on Sunday, according to a press release from organizers.

The 29-year-old Banayag of Compostela Valley left behind RP training pool teammate Mary Grace de los Santos in the first 18 kilometers along Gil Puyat Ave. going to the Fort to finish the full 42.195-km race in 2:53:37.

 “I could not improve my best time because of the rain--the course was slippery at times and my damp shoes made my feet heavier,” said the Philippine Army private first class Banayag.

Organizers have put a Php 20,000 bonus prize to the first female runner who breaks Jhoan Banayag's Milo Marathon women’s course record of 2:48:16. With this, Banayag looks to better her performance in the finals and break her own record.

She added that the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) is considering the Milo Marathon as a qualifier for inclusion to the RP national team. “I really hope to make it to the RP team and do a repeat of my 2009 Laos Sea Games marathon victory,” added Banayag, the Milo National Finals champion in 2005 and 2006." 

De los Santos of Cebu settled for second with a time of 2:55:10 while Ailene Tolentino was a far third with a clocking of 3:11:32, denying Kenyan runners, Susan Jemutai and Peris Poywo of a chance to grab the limelight. Jemutai managed a 3:11:43 finish for fourth and Poywo finished seventh in 3:48:29.

It's a different story on the men's side, as 24-year-old James Tallam of Item, Kenya made his presence felt when he crossed the finish line all alone in 2:28:42 besting Eric Panique for the crown in the elite men’s category. Panique timed 2:31:16 for second followed by Ireneo Raquim for third with a clocking of 2:32:26 and Elmer Sabal at fourth in 2:33:15. Benjamin Kipzaki also of Kenya finished fifth with a time of 2:48:14. “My strategy was to maintain my pace on the first half of the race, then I sped up to gain my lead from there. I think my training joining different marathons across Southeast Asia helped boost my performance in the race,” said 24 year old Tallam.

Aside from making it to the National Finals on Dec. 11 in Manila, both Banayag and Tallam earned P50,000 cash each, while runners up, Panique and De los Santos received P30,000 and P20,000 each for Raquim and Tolentino.

Rafael Poliquit (1:13:58) and Nhea Ann Barcena (1:33:48) won the men and women’s ’s 21-km category respectively, while Milbert Nabuab dominated the men’s 10-km race in 36:25 and Mars Devera for the distaff side with a time of 44:25. For the 10-km run, Manolo Refugia (16:47) and Catherine Bristol (22:06) topped the men and women’s 5-km run respectively and for the 3-km kiddie run, Kim Sayrio Dela Cruz (0:11:32) and Leonalyn Raterta (0:12:22), daughter of Luisa Raterta, ruled the boys' and girls' division respectively.

The 35th National MILO Marathon heightens its commitment of building champions in sports and in life by continuing its advocacy of providing running shoes to underprivileged children. Last year, a total of 4,200 pairs were donated to public school children nationwide. This season, in line with Nestle’s celebration of 100
years, the advocacy aims to give 100 pairs of shoes to 100 students from 100 schools nationwide—a total of 10,000 more shoes donated.

Nestle officials led by Milo Sports Events Assistant Vice President Patricio Goc-Ong expressed elation over the good turn out despite heavy rains. "Today's race saw hosts of local and foreign runners, families, friends and a number of running groups even with drizzles here and there. This is a delightful indication on the still increasing fanfare for running in the country and strong support for the marathon's "Help Give Shoes" advocacy.

A total of 1,000 pairs of shoes were given to students of 10 Manila schools, including Pasay City Science High School, Caruhatan National High School, Fort Bonifacio High School, Tatalon Elementary School, Gen. Pio Del Pilar High School, Carlos L. Albert High School, Benigno Aquino High School, Kalayaan National High School, Gen. Ricardo Papa Memorial High School and Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School as part of Milo’s "Help Give Shoes" advocacy.

Some 115 runners including 17 women met the age group qualifying time and will be joining other regional leg winners Mercy Taypoc, Reynaldo Pascua, Hernani Sore, Jessa Mangsat, Robeno Javier, Jujet de Asis and Geraldine Sealza in the Finals at the SM Mall of Asia on December 11.

From the Manila race, organized by RunRio Inc., the 17-leg eliminations  will shift to Southern Luzon in  Batangas on August 21, Puerto Princesa  on August 28, Naga  on Sept 4 and San Pablo on Sept 11. Then the Milo Marathon heads to Ilo-Ilo (Sept 18), Bacolod (Sept 25), Cebu City (Oct 2), Tagbilaran (Oct 9), Cagayan De Oro (Oct 16), Butuan (Oct 23), General Santos (Oct 30), Davao (Nov 6) with Manila Finals slated on December 11.

The National Milo Marathon is made possible by event sponsors, Bayview Hotel, Powerade, Summit, Timex, Air21, Department of Education and SM Mall of Asia.

For more info on the National MILO® Marathon and how to be part of its advocacy, visit the exciting new MILO® website or be a fan of MILO® Philippines on Facebook.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sea of Runners

I was shocked when I first run in the MILO marathon. At the expense of runners getting injured or killed, participants were herded in the starting line and sent out like bulls.

Stampeding runners almost run over some "slow" foot racers. 

But since a new organizer - RunRio - took over the races last year, the races are on the right track now.

Instead of "dangerous" mass starts for thousand of participants this Sunday, runners - numbering about 34,000 -leave the starting gate wave by wave as the organizers put the safety of runners on top of their agenda. Add the use of electronic chips to ensure that the clocking of all finishers will be documented right.

With the decision to use modern electronic technology to monitor the runners' clockings, the MILO Metro Manila eliminations this Sunday and the national finals on December were recognized by the Association of International Marathons/International Association of Athletics Federation (AIMS/IAAF), adding to the glamour of the country's oldest and most participated road race.

In fact, Sunday's race will be used as part of the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) eliminations.

But expect Kenyan runners, who are now making a living out of weekly races, to once again stamp their class over the local participants. Back to earn a spot in the national finals are last year’s Metro Manila eliminations second placer Willy Tanui of Kenya and compatriots Rudy Tikiko, James Tallam, Banjamin Kipkazi and Geoffrey Kiprotich.

It will be the same on the women's side as two-time Milo Marathon Queen Jho-Ann Banayag, Luisa Raterta and Ailene Tolentino race against Kenyans Susan Jemutai and Peris Poywo on the flat, paved

The huge cash prize is just too big for the Kenyans to ignore. Winners in both the male and female categories will go home P50,000 richers while second placers will bag P30,000 and third spot finishers will pocket P20,000.

On top of these, top finishers in the national finals will earn P300,000 with early qualifiers and regional leg winners Mercy Taypoc and Reynaldo Pascua ( Ilocos elims), Hernani Sore and Jessa Mangsat (Dagupan), Robeno Javier (Olongapo) and Jujet de Asis and Geraldine Sealza (Tarlac) already gaining opportunities to pocket the six-figure cash prize.

This Sunday, there will be inter-school competitions for cheer dance and running, soccer mini-games and basketball shoot-out as side events.

Additional pairs of shoes will be donated to student from City Science High School, Caruhatan National High School, Fort Bonifacio High School, Tatalon Elementary School, Gen. Pio Del Pilar High School, Carlos L. Albert High School, Benigno Aquino High School, Kalayaan National High School, Gen. Ricardo Papa Memorial High School and Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School.

After the Metro Manila elims, qualifying races will be held in Batangas on August 21, Puerto Princesa on August 28, Naga on Sept 4 and San Pablo on Sept 11, Ilo-Ilo (Sept 18), Bacolod (Sept 25), Cebu City (Oct 2), Tagbilaran (Oct 9), Cagayan De Oro (Oct 16), Butuan (Oct 23), General Santos (Oct 30), Davao (Nov 6) with the Manila Finals slated on December 11.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kenyans dominate men's race of Rexona Run

KENYANS dominated the men’s race but two veteran local runners finished 1-2 in the distaff side in the 2011 Rexona Adventure Run held Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay.

Benjamin Kipkasi topped the men’s division in one hour, 10 minutes and 55 seconds, a mere second clear of James Tallam. Douglas Muiti was third in 1:13:14.

Kipkasi and Tallam also placed 1-2 in the Globe Run for Home race last March.

In the ladies race, Nhea Ann Barcena (1:32:05) and Luisa Raterta (1:33:52) relegated Kenyan Peris Poywo (1:34:08) to third.

“I’m happy to win another race in the Philippines,” said Kipkasi. “Running is very rewarding because it also gives me a chance to see the world and experience different cultures.”

The first three in the 21K won prizes worth P10,000, P7,000 and P5,000, respectively.

Kenyans likewise dominated the 10K men’s division, with Eliud Kering winning in 32:45 and Stanley Ting placing third in 33:31. Filipino Alquin Bolivar was runner-up in 33:30.

Proceeds of the race will go to the Field of Dreams in Smokey Mountain, a project of the Junior Chamber International Manila, and Gawad Kalinga. Eight schools and more than 5,000 families in the Smokey Mountain community will benefit from the race proceeds.

The fourth leg in the RunRio Series, the Rexona Run drew about 10,000 participants.
The race also allowed runners and non-runners to experience the Rexona Adventure Hub, which offered free access to challenging activities such as zorb maze, free fall, wall climbing, zip line and reverse bungee. 

De Asis and Selza top Tarlac leg of 35th Milo Marathon

TARLAC City --  Veterans Jujet de Asis and Geraldine Selza ruled the men and women’s division respectively in the Tarlac leg of the 35th National Milo Marathon on Sunday here.

The 30-year-old De Asis broke away from the lead pack in the last six kilometers to cross the finish line all alone in 1:14:50, which was just enough to pocket the P10,000 top purse. Not to be outdone, the 27-year-old Selza, proved her mastery of the flat and downhill course by coming up with a best time of 1:22:48 to top the 21-km race for the female division.

A close second behind De Asis was Isagani Tacutaco who timed 1:15:39 while Greg Dansen Osorio was third in 1:16:47 and Rodolfo Katagino settled for fourth in 1:19:18. Ryan Mendoza completed the top five positions with a clocking of 1:19:40.

“I am extremely happy that I won the race today. I am glad to see changes in my performance due to my hard training,” said the Philippine Army enlisted man De Asis, who will spend his earnings for preparations for the finals.

Selza, a teammate of Mercy Taypoc, Hernani Sore and Jessa Mangsat at the University of Baguio track and field team and fellow 2011 National Milo Marathon Northern Luzon regional race leg champions, hopes to regain the 42-km National Finals championship, which she won in 2002 with a time of 3:12:38.

“I hope to again win the title of the National Milo Marathon Queen this year by topping the 42k in the finals.  I am inspired by my idol, Jho-Ann Banayag who is my model for her athleticism and determination,” said Selza, a Computer Studies Major at UB.

Joan Managat settled for second in the distaff side with a time of 1:38:07, Adjenie de los Santos finished third in 1:49:32 and Rowena Valdez at the fourth position with a clocking of 1:52:51. Both De Asis, a 9th finisher in the National Finals last year and Selza will join 19 other age group qualifiers to the National Milo Marathon Finals.

Another 500 pairs of shoes were donated by Nestle officials to the students of Suizo Bliss Elementary School, Tarlac West Central Elementary School, Sapang Palay National High School, San Miguel Central Elementary School and Dalayap Elementary School,  as part of the National MILO Marathon “Help Give Shoes” advocacy program. A total of 4,200 pairs of shoes were extended to public school children nationwide last year and this year the organizer is targeting 10,000 more shoes to be donated to 100 schools to 100 students all over the country in line with the company’s 100th year celebration

After the Tarlac leg the qualifying races will then shift to high gear with the staging of the Metro Manila elimination on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia in Paranaque City before travelling south for the Batangas leg on August 21 and proceed to Puerto Princesa City in Palawan on August 28.

The Naga race will follow on Sept 4 and next in San Pablo City on Sept 11, then the  Iloilo qualifying (Sept 18), Bacolod (Sept 25), Cebu City (Oct 2), Tagbilaran (Oct 9), Cagayan De Oro (Oct 16), Butuan (Oct23), General Santos (Oct 30) and Davao City on Nov 6. The National Finals will be held in Manila on December 11.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Javier tops Olongapo elimination of 35th MILO marathon

Kudos to national athlete Robeno Javier for topping the Olongapo eliminations of the 35th MILO National Marathon over the weekend.

Javier, a member of the RP national duathlon and triathlon teams, crossed the finish line of the 21-kilometer course in one hour, 17 minutes and 16 seconds to earn a spot in the national finals this December.

The 25-year-old Javier also breached the qualifying time to join Dagupan elimination winners Hernani Sore and Jessa Mangsat and Laoag leg champions Reynaldo Pascua and Mercy Taypoc in the National Milo Marathon Finals.

He likewise bagged the P10,000 cash prize.

"May pandagdag na ako sa gastos kapag nanganak ang misis ko," said Javier after the awarding ceremonies.

"As for the finals, hindi ako kadalasang tumatakbo ng 42K, kaya dapat talagang paghandaan ang national finals," Javier added.

Posting podium finishes with Javier were Patrick Ngongob (1:18:09) and Danilo Disierto (1:19:14).

Jesselyn Morales, meantime, clocked in at the 2:23:40 mark. But the lone woman participant in the 21K race failed to qualify.

Lack of preparations put a heavy toll on the 29-year-old Olongapo resident as she was slowed down by cramps and blisters.

"Kala ko nga hindi ako makakatapos. Pero the marshalls kept on urging me to finish the race," she said.

Organizers said that 9,000 runners joined the race, helping MILO and its mother company Nestle to provide 500 pairs of shoes to the students of  Gordon Heights Elementary School, Matain Elementary School, Kalalake National High School, Barretto  Elementary School and Olongapo City National High School as part of the sport drink's “Help Give Shoes” advocacy.

Next weekend, runners from Tarlac will have their chance to qualify for the national finals. After this, the eliminations will be held in Metro Manila on July 31 at the SM Mall of Asia in Paranaque City.

The other eliminations will be held in  Batangas (August 21), Puerto Princesa (August 28), Naga (Sept 4), San Pablo (Sept 11), Ilo-Ilo (Sept 18), Bacolod (Sept 25), Cebu City (Oct 2), Tagbilaran (Oct 9), Cagayan De Oro (Oct 16), Butuan (Oct 23), General Santos (Oct 30), Davao (Nov 6) with the national finals scheduled on December 11.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sore, Mangsat win Dagupan City Elims of MILO Marathon

Congratulations to Baguio-based athletes Hernani Sore and Jessa Mangsat for winning the Dagupan City qualifying race last Sunday.

Sore, a member of the national athletics pool, crossed the finish line at the one hour, 14 minutes and 41 second mark,  which can be considered sub-par from his 1:10:00 personal best in the 21-kiometer race.

But it was enough to send him to the National Finals slated on Dec. 11 in Manila. Sore, who failed to qualify last year, placed third in the Baguio eliminations won by national champion Eduardo Buenavista.

Sore is looking at posting a decent finish in the national finals and is doing a lot of speed training to enhance his chances in the national finals set to start and finish at the Quirino Grandstand.

Mangsat, a 21-year-old University of Baguio student, posted a 1:32:20 to also earn a spot in the national finals.

And as far as Mangsat is concerned, she is looking at making her mark in the national scene this year. 

“My goal is to see if I could have my turn this year," said Mangsat.

 The next eliminations will be held this Sunday in Olongapo City.

After the Olongapo City sojourn, the eliminations will be held in Tarlac (July 24), Manila (July 31), Batangas (August 21), Puerto Princesa (April 28), Naga (September 4), San Pablo (September 11), Iloilo (September 18)  Bacolod (September 25), Cebu City (October 2), Tagbilaran (October 9), Cagayan De Oro (October 16), Butuan (October 23), General Santos (October 30), Davao (November 6). 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pascua, Taypoc bag MILO national finals spots

Reynaldo Pascua, a 42-year-old veteran runner, booked a spot in the 35th National MILO Marathon finals after topping the men's 21-kilometer qualifying race during Sunday's eliminations in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

Pascua, whose training was slowed down by a chicken pox infection weeks before the race, pocketed the top prize worth P10,000, an amount I believe he badly needed as he is out of the "labor market" for awhile now.

"Mabuti nanalo kasi nasira ang training ko dahil nga nagkabulutog ako," said Pascua, who have been doing contractual jobs as extra hand in farms and  constructions.

And I fully admire Pascua for this feat. To me he is a survivor not only in the race course but in life.

Not even his age and his current job situation stopped him from winning. In fact, this is Pascua's sixth Laoag leg victory. 

'Yan ang TNL!!! Palaban. Panalo.

Mercy Taypoc, a young varsity player and a third year BS administration and Financial Management student of University of Baguio, likewise booked a National Finals spot by winning the 21-K women's category and finishing within the qualifying time.

True to their words, organizers gave 500 pairs of shoes to student in selected elementary schools.

Milo is donating P10 from participants registration fee. Last year, MILO donated 4,200 pairs of shoes and this year to celebrate the centennial founding of Nestle, the company which produces MILO, the company intends to donate 10,000 shoes.

This Sunday, the eliminations in the country's premiere foot race will be held in Dagupan.

Hopefully, more runners will be able to qualify.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bedan Animo Run

San Beda College is 110 years this year and part of the celebrations is the Bedan Animo Run, which will benefit the San Beda College of Law Legal Aid Bureau, scholars of San Beda Institutional Community Involvement Center (ICIC), SBC Benedictine Educational Foundation Inc. (BEFI) and SBC Track and Field team.

For those who have yet to experience running inside the CCP complex in Pasay City, this is your chance as the event slated on July 10 will be held there.

Registration booth is located at St. Maur's Lobby, San Beda College, Mendiola, Manila.

Races and registration fees are as follows: 500 meters (P350), 3 kilometer (P300), 5k (P500) and 10k  (P600)

For detailed information about the race, call 489-1670 (10am - 3pm) or text at the following mobiles
0917.742.2459, 0915.913.544. You can also email your inquiries at

Organizers said that registration is inclusive of singlets, and other materials.