Local favorites rule Milo Marathon Cebu race
MANILA – Local favorites John Philip Dueñas and Mary Joy Tabal headlined the 21K division run over the weekend at the 37th National MILO Marathon Cebu qualifying race at the Cebu City Sports Center.
This is Tabal’s third victory in the local leg, which marks the largest regional race of the season so far with a record-breaking headcount of 24,067 runners.
Dueñas and Tabal will lead other qualifiers to the National Finals in December, where they will join earlier qualifiers Elmer and Cresenciano Sabal, Eric Panique and Janice Tawagin.
As an added incentive to the prestige of winning the country’s premier footrace, Milo will be sending this season’s MILO Marathon King and Queen to compete with the world’s finest athletes at the Paris Marathon in 2014.
Twenty-four-year-old Tabal, who placed second in the 42K race of last year’s National Finals, answered the starting gun with urgency and finished at an impressive 1:24:50. The veteran runner earned herself an all-expenses paid trip to the finale in December and the P10,000.00 top purse.
Earlier this year, she won the Adidas King of the Road 16.8K marathon, and was the fastest Filipina finisher at the Safeguard 2XU International Half-Marathon.
Dueñas, who is Tabal’s training partner and coach since 2009, expressed that they will continue to work and train together to overcome their respective challenges.
Despite qualifying for the finals six times prior in the regional races, this is Dueñas’ first title win for the National Milo Marathon.
Completing the top three cast in the men’s division race are Bonifacio Monjas (1:16:32) and Argie Tillor (1:19:57).
Meanwhile, in the distaff division, last year’s Milo Marathon Tagbilaran 21K winner Christy Sevilleno settled for a far second at 1:40:58, and Sandra Soliano settled for third at 1:43:21.