Sunday, September 7, 2014

Returning champs rule 38th National MILO Marathon Puerto Princesa race

Winning is not new for the seven-year veteran MILO marathoner but he always cherishes each hard-earned victory. “I prepared for only two months, starting in July, but I couldn’t really focus on training because my job comes first. I really love my job, and of course I love running, but work is my priority,” said Warizal.

As a logistics helper, he helps deliver MILO and other Nestle products to sari-sari stores. In the past few weeks, Warizal shared that he usually does overtime at work and had to adjust his training. “When I have time, I try to run at least five times a week, every morning at 4:30. I couldn’t run in the afternoons anymore because I’m too tired by then. I’m very happy that I still placed first despite feeling that my training isn’t enough. I went all out in this race, even if I started to feel cramping in my legs, I willed myself to go on,” said Warizal.

For youngster Dela Rosa, winning also comes almost naturally. She started running at five years old, joining her father, also a runner, in his training. “I didn’t know I was training already then. I thought it was just fun and games. Eventually, my dad entered me in running events with him and we kept on winning, so I decided to pursue running,” shared Dela Rosa.

Like Warizal, preparing for the race was also a challenge for her. As a varsity member of the University of Santo Tomas’ track and field team, they focused on middle distance training for the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) track meets. “I took my chances in joining the MILO marathon this year even if I felt that I didn’t prepare well for it. The uphill route proved to be very challenging because it consumes a lot more energy than running on flat surfaces. It was quite hard to maintain momentum,” Dela Rosa said. “My strategy was to run at my own pace. It’s okay for others to go ahead of me, as long as I did my best. I’m glad that my best was enough for me to win this race, but I need to prepare well for the National Finals.”
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.

Warizal and Dela Rosa both have high praises for MILO’s Help Give Shoes Advocacy. “This project is really admirable, because young runners who have great potential will be encouraged to pursue running. It’s hard to run barefooted, or wearing slippers. It’s such a great feeling to be able to help fellow runners,” shared Dela Rosa. Warizal added, “I hope MILO continues to help the youth realize their dreams. A lot of children and even adults are being helped by the MILO Marathon and the MILO Little Olympics. It’s also very good exposure especially for the kids. They are able to get into sports and avoid vices and bad influences. We are very grateful to MILO.”

The qualifying race will resume in Lipa on September 14 and will head to Iloilo (September 21), Bacolod (September 28), Tagbilaran (October 5), Cebu (October 12), Butuan (October 19), Cagayan De Oro (November 9), General Santos (November 16), and Davao (November 23). The National Finals will be held on December 7 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.

The 38th National MILO Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, ASICS, Lenovo, Manila Bulletin and Gatorade, along with endorsements from the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

For more information on MILO Philippines, log on to the official website ( or the MILO Philippines Facebook page ( Follow MILO on Twitter (@MiloPH) and Instagram (@MiloPhilippines).

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