Sunday, December 11, 2011

Delos Santos win big in 35th MILO Marathon National Finals

Delos Santos, the 2011 MILO marathon queen

Taking her failure to represent the country in the last Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) as a challenge, Mary Grace Delos Santos continued her preparation in Baguio City and on Sunday reaped the dividends of her hard work by winning the 42K title of the 35th MILO Marathon National Finals which started and ended inside the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

“Masama talaga ang loob ko nung hindi ako nakasama sa national pool. Gusto ko talagang tumakbo para sa bansa,” said Delos Santos, a 24-year-old lass from Zamboanga after bagging her first national title in the yearly footrace.

“Pero nagpursigi ako, lumabas pa na parang blessing ang hindi ko pagtakbo sa SEA Games dahil nakapaghanda ako nang husto para sa MILO finals,” added Delos Santos, who submitted a clocking of two hours, 53 minutes and seven seconds and relegated former champion Jho-Ann Banayag to second spot.

Women's 42K 2nd placer Jho-Ann Banayag

Banayag checked in two minutes and one second behind Delos Santos, who pocked the P300,000 top prize, which the champion said she will invest in a piece of property in her home province.

“Alam kong malaki tsansa ko na manalo kasi hindi pa fully recovered si Jho-Ann after the SEA Games,” added Delos Santos.

Settling for third was Mary Joy Tabal (3:01:41) while defending champion Flordeliza Donos (3:06:05) could only muster a fourth spot finish.

While Filipino runners dominated the female division of the race, it was a Kenyan show in the male division as the visiting runners produced a stunning performance and took all but two of the top 10 spots.
James Tallam lead the Kenyan domination with a time of two hours, 28 minutes and two seconds. Tallam’s compatriots Willy Rotch (2:28:29) and Abraham Missos (2:29:27) booked podium finishes while David Kipsang (2:31:05) bagged the fourth spot.

Tallam of Kenya, 35th MILO Marathon King

Iloilo leg winner Jeson Agravante (2:34:03) of Silay City entered the finish line as fifth best runner while Irineo Raquin (2:34:10) followed behind for a sixth place finish.

Aggravante, the best Filipino male runner who finished at fifth spot.

The last four spots in top ten was filled by Kenyan runner Benjamin Kepkazi (2:38:39), Douglast Mwiti (2:39:44), Eliud Kering (2:40:31) and Josphat Keptanui (2:43:02).

Absent, not only in the top ten but also among the finishers, were top Filipino runners Eduardo Buenavista, Cresenciano Sabal and Eric Panique, who according to organizer Rio Dela Cruz were all at the starting line but failed to finish the race.

Dela Cruz added that more than 24,000 runners participated in the event which for the first time started and finished at MOA. Traditionally, the event was held at the Quirino Grandstand.

It was the same story in other divisios as Kenyan Alex Melly (1:11:41) won the 21K race while compatriot Tuwei Samson (31:45) won the 10K dvision.

Nhea Ann Barcena (1:35:41) reigned in the 21K women’s race while another Kenyan, Juan Jeruto (40:49); pocketed the women’s 10K title to complete the domination of the visiting runners.

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