Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tabal defends title, Poliquit wins first MILO Marathon crown

Pasay City, Philippines (13 December 2014) – Reigning MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal reveled in the spotlight as she defended title in the 38th National MILO Marathon which started and ended at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.

Also hugging the spotlight was Rafael Poliquit who bagged the 2014 National MILO Marathon King title, winning his first National MILO Marathon championship title.

Today’s race saw 19,242 registered runners, bringing the total headcount of the season to 228,000 which shattered last year’s record.

Renowned runner Mary Joy Tabal was the best local female finisher in the 38th National MILO Marathon Finals, earning her the title MILO Marathon Queen.
Tabal received P250,000 and a trophy for her outstanding showing in the 42K Open category, while Poliquit received P150,000 and a trophy for his win in the 42K Local category. Both will have the chance to run in an international marathon in 2015, with all-expense paid trips sponsored by MILO.

It was Rose Nyangacha who won the Open category title with a time of two hours, 47 minutes and 33 seconds. Tabal finished behind Nyangacha, submitting a time of 2:51:55. Immaculate Chemutai (2:52:49) completed the podium finishers.

It was a tough competition amongst former MILO Marathon Queens in the 42K Local category. Christabel Martes led the pack and posted a time of 3:03:49, while Mary Grace Delos Santos (03:05:34) and Jhoan Banayag (3:07:59) came in second and third place, respectively.

“There was a lot of pressure on me since I was expected by many to retain the title. I needed to overcome that immense amount of pressure and nervousness. I motivated myself to push harder and to enjoy the race. It was also good because I challenged myself to become better,” shared Tabal.

“I am happy that I had another chance to show what I can do and what I am capable of. I hope to inspire more Filipino runners, especially the kids, to continue running and striving to achieve their dreams.”

Kenyans dominated the male 42K Open category, with 2011 MILO Marathon champion James Tallam recording an impressive time of 2:21:08, Josphat Kiptanui (2:21:31) following in second  and Joel Kiplimo Kemboi (2:21:31) in third.

Air Force member Rafael Poliquit, Jr. trumped his fiercest competitors and clinched the MILO Marathon King title for the first time. (MILO Photo)

 First-time champion Rafael Poliquit set a swift pace against his local rivals with a time of 02:32:29, relegating five-time MILO Marathon King Eduardo Buenavista (02:33:56) to second place and Ireneo Raquin (02:35:50) to third place.

“I trained everyday with 20km runs, and a race every Sunday. I am my own coach. I did not expect to win because it is quite tough to balance work and training, but my victory today proved that despite difficulties, I am still able to compete with the nation’s elite runners,” expressed Poliquit.

It was also his first time to face five-time MILO Marathon King Eduardo Buenavista in the 42K event. Both are members of the Air Force of the Philippines, and Buenavista happens to be Poliquit’s senior officer.

“I could not believe I was able to beat Sir Eduardo. He is already an established veteran and one of the country’s running greats. He is my running idol. I admire him so much and he will continue to inspire me in my career.”

Kids, students, parents and families joined in on the fun as the running community gathered in the nation’s biggest footrace. Celebrity triathlete Kuya Kim Atienza ran in the 21K race, while fellow fitness buff, actress Anne Curtis, ran in the 10K race.

With the support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO’s Help Gives Shoes advocacy will provide 16,000 underprivileged youth with brand new running shoes and reach the 50,000 mark this year. As MILO celebrates its 50th year, Help Give Shoes aims to make the donation to students in Yolanda-hit cities, particularly Tacloban, Ormoc, and Eastern Samar.

Actress and fitness buff Anne Curtis was among the hundreds who ran in the 10K category during the grand finale of the 38th National MILO Marathon Finals.

“We would like to congratulate everyone who joined us in the 38th season of the National MILO Marathon. We would also like to thank all who made this success possible,” said Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Marketing Manager.

“We look forward to another great running season in 2015. See you again in the 39th National MILO Marathon!”

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