Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Taus of Kenya, Paje of Romblon shine in Naga elims of 35th Milo Marathon

Samuel Tarus of Kenya (left) ang Mila Paje of Romblon show their medals after the awarding ceremonies
Samuel Tarus of Kenya and Mila Paje of Romblon made their presence dominated their respective categories during the Naga Elimination of the 35th National Milo Marathon that started and ended at the SM Mall in Naga City last Sunday, according to the organizers.

A total of 7,820 participated in the Bicol region qualifier as Tarus ruled the men's race with a time of one hour, 14 minutes and 33 seconds. 

“The race today was very good, the course was hilly at some points which was a challenge for me to
achieve my personal best of 1:03:00. My race strategy was to maintain my consistency in speed and
apply my training to my actual race,” said Tarus.

The Rift Valley native ran a tight race against Filipino counterparts, trading the lead at different parts of the race until the last seven kilometers where he took the lead for good.  “Competition with
Filipino athletes was tough, there were 3 to 4 other competitors who were really close to me,” Tarus noted.

“Filipino runners are our fiercest competitors in Asia. I have competed in Thailand, Malaysia and a
number of other Asian countries and there, we don't have much competition. But here, runners like
Cresenciano Sabal and Eduardo Buenavista are really strong and have concentration and consistency in running.” added Tarus.

A distant second was Franklin PeƱalosa, who posted 1:19:47. Miguel Caritas followed at third in 1:21:52, William Nano was fourth in 1:24:39, Troy Abadeza came in at fifth with a time of 1:28:05.

The top 5 runners finished inside the age group qualifying time and will be joined by other qualifiers Salvador Nachor (1:29:51), Eutiquio Bagacina Jr. (1:34:15), Rufino Domanico Jr. (1:33:25), Cornelio Roquio (1:45:45), Jose Asis (1:44:29), Joselito Atento (1:48:48) and Sabeniano Laguda (1:49:19) to the national finals scheduled this December at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City. 

It was a different story in the distaff side as Paje was the lone qualifier as she finished inside the  1:45 qualifying time.The former Gintong Alay runner posted a 1:42:29 to earn a trip to the National Milo
Marathon Finals, where best finish was a second place behind Arsenia Sagayar almost two decades ago.

“I was the leading female runner from the start and had a half km lead from other competitors. I made sure to increase my speed in crucial points of the race particularly at the starting line and at
the turning point,” said Paje.

Eyeing the top 10 in the national finals, Paje expressed her determination and is devoting four months to training. "Competition is stiff but I am thankful I have physical strength and a lot of experience. I do feel my age affecting my performance, but I take pride in the fact that even at 46, I can still achieve so much,” shared Paje.

As part of Milo’s “Help Give Shoes” advocacy, 500 pairs of shoes were given to students of Jose Rizal Elementary School, Concepcion Pequena National High School, Julian Meliton Elementary School, Naga Central School 2 and Tabuco Central School.

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.

From Naga City, the 17-leg regional eliminations will proceed to San Pablo City in Laguna on Sept. 11 before shifiting to the Visayas starting in Ilo-Ilo City on Sept. 18, Bacolod (Sept. 25), Cebu City (Oct 2), Tagbilaran (Oct 9), Cagayan De Oro (Oct 16), Butuan (Oct 23), General Santos (Oct
30) and the Davao City leg on Nov. 6 with the Manila Finals slated on December 11.

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