Monday, November 7, 2011

Lupio wins Davao elims of 35th MILO marathon

As expected the top bets clutched slots to the National Finals as the 17 regional qualifying legs of the 35th National MILO Marathon came to a close last Sunday in Davao City.

Brian Lupio came more prepared and went on to outrace three-time national champion Cresenciano Sabal to pocket the P10,000 top purse. Sisters Cynthia Jaro and Criselyn Jaro posted a 1-2 finish with a clocking of 1:31:48 and 1:32:47 respectively in the women's category.

The 23-year-old Lupio of Baguio District, Davao City, fell behind speeding Anthony Nerza before regaining his form and engaged Sabal in a see-saw battle in the halfway mark until Lupio took command in the last seven kilometers of the race and finished alone to record a new personal best time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 33 second. Nerza (1:14:30) finished at second spot while Sabal (1:17:26) of the Philippine Army salvaged a podium finish. 

“Going into the race, I was wary of the competition because I heard that I will be running against Sabal and Nerza who are both strong runners so I really made an effort to prepare,” said Lupio, who won his second MILO regional title despite blistered feet and untied shoelaces.

Lupio was referring to 22-year-old Nerza of Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur  who is the 2010 National Finals 4th placer and 33-year-old Sabal, the national titlist in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

Sabal had his own predicament when he failed to finish the Gen. Santos City leg last week due to leg pains, but recovered just in time to join the last elimination race and booked a finals spot as he targets a fourth title.

“I am happy that I still finished third despite my condition. I hope to get my fourth MILO Marathon King title, that’s why me and fellow Philippine Army runners are training hard and strategizing to make a competitive performance against Kenyan and Ethiopian runners,” said Sabal.

Completing the top 10 in the men's division were Ricky Grande (1:19:02),  John Lyd Pasaforte (1:20:41), Mario Ecalner (1:22:02), Robert Daang (1:23:55), Ronald Dagaang (1:23:57), Rodien Hormigas (1:24:01) and Benes Delgado (1:27:31).

On the distaff side, 20-year-old Cynthia Jaro of Turil, Davao City and her sister Criselyn made the age group qualifier cut-off with 21 others in both the men's and women's categories.

“My 21k last year was my first and I was not as prepared then as I am now. This year’s route was more challenging with eight uphill and downhill parts that tested my endurance, but thankfully competition wasn’t that close and I finished ahead,” said Cynthia, last year’s National MILO Marathon 10th placer. Cynthia aims to make top 10 and improve her record of 3:23:00 to 3:10:00 this year.

The field of 12,053 runners contributed to the National MILO Marathon’s ‘Help Give Shoes’ advocacy to raise 500 pairs of shoes for students of Leon Garcia National High School, Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School, Davao City National High School and Magallanes Elementary School.

More than 400 runners qualified for the 42.195-kilometer race at the National MILO Marathon Finals on December 11 at the SM Mall of Asia.

On the run-up to the Manila Finals, the National MILO Marathon also announces it is already open for registration for 3k, 5k, 10k and 21k race categories through Manila Race organizer RunRio. Visit for online registration or go to RUNNR Store Bonifacio High Street, Planet Sports Trinoma or Toby’s SM Mall of Asia.

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