Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Comendador, Sorongon top 38th National MILO Marathon Tagbilaran race

Up-and-coming runners Emmanuel Comendador and Ruffa Sorongon outpaced their fiercest rivals and clinched the top spots in the 21K events at the twelfth qualifying race of the National MILO Marathon held in Tagbilaran, Bohol on Sunday. About 4,000 runners joined the nation’s biggest and most prestigious race, and 30 runners secured their qualifying slots for the National Finals slated on December 7 in the Mall of Asia grounds, Manila.

Comendador and Sorongon each received a prize of P10,000 in cash, a trophy, as well as a coveted slot to the National Finals on December 7, for a chance to compete for the MILO Marathon King and Queen title. MILO will send this year’s King and Queen to Japan on an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Tokyo Marathon.

Expertly navigating the route and using the good weather to his advantage, Comendador finished first place ahead of his rivals, posting a time of 01:16:00. Elmer Bartolo (01:17:00) and Azlan Pagay (01:17:00) followed in at second and third place, respectively.*

It was only Comendador’s second time to join the 21K event, but the 25-year-old Tagbilaran native, a Marine Engineering student of the Philippine Marine Institute, showed his capabilities and tasted sweet victory. “I wasn’t really ready because of a series of unfortunate events. Last Friday, as I was on my way to school, my motorbike got hit and I was ill with fever,” shared Comendador. “I wasn’t really planning to join the marathon but my coach Jojo Posadas encouraged me to do so. I’m grateful that he pushed me to join and I will ask him to help me prepare for the National Finals.”

In the distaff side, Ruffa Sorsogon dominated the event, finishing ahead of her rivals by an impressive 16 minutes. Sorsogon posted a time of 01:33:48, well ahead of second placer Jennifer Sabella (01:49:08) and third placer Rhodora Oporto (01:50:06).*

The 23-year-old, hailing from South Cotabato, has been running in the MILO marathon for three years, and has qualified in last year’s National Finals. “My older brother, Kuya Sherwin, is the one who trains me. He also qualified in the National Finals before. We trained for six weeks, with 1K runs for six days and continuously adding up distance until we were able to do 150K each week,” said Sorongon. “Kuya Sherwin said I need to train more for long distance running so I can build up my determination and endurance. Vitamins, rest, proper food are going to be vital in my preparations. And of course, continue praying for God’s guidance.”

MILO Sports Marketing Manager Andrew Neri expressed his delight in the scenes that unfolded in the Tagbilaran leg of the National MILO Marathon. “We are very pleased to see the Boholano community come together in the MILO marathon, ready to race with big smiles and full hearts,” said Neri. “Even though Bohol still has a long way to go in their recovery from the 2013 earthquake, the resilience and courage exhibited by the Boholenos is truly admirable. We are happy to see the Boholano spirit on display at the race, and we at MILO salute them with great respect. They are the perfect example that Filipinos can rise up against any adversity that we are faced with.”

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.

The qualifying race will head to Cebu on October 12 before picking up in Butuan (October 19), Cagayan De Oro (November 9), General Santos (November 16), and Davao (November 23). The National Finals will be held onDecember 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).

* - results as of 05 October 2014

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