Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mid-distance runners top MILO Marathon Angeles race

  Milo Marathon update:
35 runners book tickets to finale at the last qualifying leg of the season

Middle-distance runners Wenlie Maulas and Nikki Roque overcame the challenges of a 21K route and outraced other division contenders Sunday at the 37th National MILO Marathon in Angeles City. Today marks Roque’s first and Maulas’ second entry to the country’s biggest and most prestigious footrace, where they both took home the P 10,000 top purse for their victory.

A total of 7,367 students, athletes, and running enthusiasts joined the last qualifying race of the season, where 35 runners earned a slot to the finale on December 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City. They will compete with 500 of the country’s finest runners for the championship title and for an all-expenses paid trip to the 2014 Paris Marathon courtesy of MILO.
As a seasoned mid-distance runner, Maulas used his speed and agility to his advantage and crossed the finish line at an impressive finishing time of 1:15:53, followed by Ganny Lou Coloma at a distant second (1:23:51) and Ronald Salgado in third (1:24:01).The 24-year old runner, who recently graduated from the University of the East-Manila, is hailed as one of the best athletes from the campus for winning multiple UAAP Men’s titles in 800m and 1,500m athletics. He also finished 4th place in the 2011 ASEAN University Games in Thailand.
Maulas expressed that he had difficulty finding his pace in the extensive 21K track, as this is only his second time completing the distance. His first 21K race was the National MILO Marathon in San Pablo in 2010, where he qualified for the National Finals and achieved his best time yet of 1:14. He also said that the coming finale will serve as one of the biggest challenges of his career.

“My younger brother, who trains with me, also joined the 5K race earlier. We both hope to make a career out of running and represent the country at international races someday,” he said. “The MILO Marathon finale is the first step towards realizing that dream. I’ll focus on my training for the next two weeks and practice 3 hours a day in preparation for the race.”

In the distaff side, 20-year old Roque proved that perseverance pays off and finished at 1:58:22, way ahead of Mary Gallano (2:06:52) and Therese Dimalanta (2:07:14). Roque is a government scholar at the Bataan Peninsula State University, and like Maulas, is a varsity athlete with several 1.5K, 3K, and 5K titles under her belt.

Despite being challenged by the rough road and by a persistent rival throughout the race, Roque expressed that her keen focus on the end goal gave her a second wind. “Another competitor led the first 400 meters of the track, but I was able to match her pace and take the lead. At the 12th kilometer, all I could think about was winning the race to provide food for my family,” she said. In her younger years, Roque joined barangay races to contribute to her family’s finances. She also recently placed second in the 5K Orani Water District’s Water Dragon Run 2012: Run for the Watershed in Bataan.
Aside from her family, Roque finds strength and motivation from her coach. “Our varsity coach at BPSU consistently motivates me to become a better athlete. He serves as an inspiration to me and my fellow varsity athletes,” she added.

“Transitioning to a more competitive area of the sport is not an easy feat, which is why the National MILO Marathon maintains well-designed races for our country’s best college athletes. Whether it is the shortest or the longest distance in the discipline, runners are able to meet a certain level of challenge in the MILO Marathon that drives them to become better on the track. We are proud to welcome new faces in the MILO arena, and hope that they become the next wave of champions who will bring pride to our country,” said Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Executive.

As part of its ongoing commitment to develop sports in the country, MILO has given a total of 33,200 shoes to public school students nationwide through MILO’s Help Give Shoes advocacy. With the invaluable support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO delivered 500 pairs of running shoes to beneficiary schools today in Angeles City, namely Dr. Clemente Dayrit Elementary School, Arayat Central School, Pampanga National High School, Manibaug Elementary School, and San Fernando Elementary School.

The 37th National MILO Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, Reebok, SMART and SM Mall of Asia, along with endorsements from the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee. For more information on the race and its advocacy, visit the MILO marathon website ( or access the MILO Philippines fanpage on Facebook. Follow MILO on Twitter (@MILOPH).

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