Manila, Philippines, 30 July 2017 – New faces graced the first place podium of the 41st National MILO Marathon Manila leg on Sunday, July 30. Winners Rafael Pescos and Cinderella Lorenzo stole the spotlight from their rivals in the 42km centrepiece event of the country’s oldest and grandest footrace. Each of them took home the top purse of P50,000 in cash and a trophy, and booked their slots to the National Finals in Cebu City on December 3 to try and claim the MILO Marathon King and Queen titles.
Pescos did not lead from the start, but gained ground on his opponents to place first with a time of 2:38:27. Erick Panique (2:43:10), and Noel Tillor (2:47:31) finished at second and third place, respectively.
It is the 23-year-old Cebuano’s first time to win in the 42km category of the National MILO Marathon. Last year, he fell short of his goal in the National Finals in Iloilo as he struggled with the flu, but he was hungry to prove himself better. “For six months, I really trained and put in the hard work to prepare for the Manila qualifications. Even if I am not familiar with the race route in Manila, I was determined to fight and finish strong,” said Pescos. He added that the most important values he learned from his experience are confidence and belief in self to achieve his dreams, as well as generosity to others – he will share part of his prize money towards the training fund of his running team.
In the distaff side, Lorenzo clocked in at 3:16:15 to clinch first place. Lany Cardona (3:23:38) followed in second place and Lizane Abella (3:29:48) came in third.
This race was Lorenzo’s first time to run the 42km distance and in true impressive fashion, the 28-year-old mom led all the way from start to finish. “Training wasn’t easy, but through sacrifice, perseverance and discipline, I was able to accomplish this great achievement today, together with my kids who also ran in their first 3K race,” she said. “I encouraged them to join me today for a learning experience through running. They are my inspiration, as well as my husband who is also my coach, and the rest of my family, too.”
More than a staunch advocate of Philippine sports and Filipino athletes, the National MILO Marathon is also a platform that empowers children nationwide. For the past 7 years, the National MILO Marathon’s Help Give Shoes advocacy, in partnership with Department of Education, has inspired 70,000 aspiring athletes to fulfill their dreams by donating brand new pairs of running shoes. This year, the Help Give Shoes advocacy will be donating 5,000 pairs to underprivileged school children.
The National MILO Marathon will continue in Angeles (August 6), Tarlac (August 13), Naga (August 27), Lucena (September 03), Lipa (September 10), Tagbilaran (September 24), Roxas (October 1), Iloilo (October 8), General Santos (October 15), Davao (October 22), Butuan (November 12), and Cagayan De Oro (November 19). The National Finals in Cebu City will be on December 3.