Manila, Philippines, 26 July 2015 – Veteran runners Eric Panique and Luisa Raterta made headlines as they grabbed the top spots in the 42K centrepiece event at the 39th National MILO Marathon Manila qualifying leg on Sunday. Almost 35,000 runners of all ages answered the challenge and enjoyed the great sunny weather as they conquered the MILO Marathon race routes.
In the men’s division, Panique outpaced his rivals, beating them with a time of 02:37:44. Mario Maglinao (02:39:47) followed in second place, while Rene Desuyo (02:45:57) finished in third place.
Panique trained with 5-time MILO Marathon King Eduardo Buenavista in Baguio City to prepare for the race. Despite stiff competition from his fellow elite runners early on in the race, he persevered to move forward. “There were some runners ahead of me at the start,” shared Panique. “I increased my pace in the last six kilometers and thankfully, I was able to beat them. I am very grateful to the Lord for his guidance in helping me achieve this honor.”
In the distaff side, Luisa Raterta rose above her counterparts and topped the race with a time of 03:10:36. Rounding up the top 3 female 42K runners are Criselyn Jaro (03:25:03) in second place, and April Rose Diaz (03:34:02) in third place.
Whenever Raterte takes a break from her own personal training, she coaches aspiring runners and athletes on the street in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, to turn them away from bad vices. She revealed that she also trains her daughter. 13-year-old Leonalyn Raterta, a champion in her own right, won third place in the 5K category. “Leonalyn just finished competing in the Palarong Pambansa, and now, she won in the MILO Marathon,” shared Luisa. “She’s very dedicated to running. I always enjoy training with her and as her mother, I couldn’t be any prouder. “
The country’s biggest and most prestigious event was also graced by celebrities who are MILO Marathon regulars, including The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition coach and MILO APEX founder Jim Saret and Toni Saret, MILO R2 ambassador and football star Tata Garcia-Long, fitness enthusiast and triathlete Kuya Kim Atienza, and avid runner Karylle Tatlonghari-Yuzon. “The race route was so beautiful because you could see the Manila Bay sunrise. The runners from the MILO community are also very friendly,” shared Karylle. “There was a group of students who stayed with me towards the end of the race. I was already a bit tired, but they waited for me to catch up and encouraged me to go on. The energy and support from everyone is the best.”
Panique and Raterte have both secured their slots in the National Finals and each took home the top prize of P50,000 in cash and a trophy. Both will go head-to-head with the country’s best runners at the National Finals in Angeles on December 6, where the MILO Marathon King and Queen titles are up for grabs. This year’s King and Queen will be sent by MILO to the USA on all-expense paid trips, for a chance to run in the prestigious 2016 Boston Marathon.
The National MILO Marathon is not only a breeding ground for local talents but also a program that empowers children nationwide. With the support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO’s Help Gives Shoes advocacy will provide 10,000 underprivileged youth with brand new running shoes this year. MILO is working with DepEd in the selection of deserving public school student beneficiaries.
The race will resume in Calapan (August 2), before heading to Lipa (August 9), Naga (August 16), Lucena (August 30), Iloilo (September 20), Bacolod (September 27), Tagbilaran (October 4), Cebu (October 11), General Santos (October 18), Davao (November 8), Butuan (November 15), and Cagayan De Oro (November 22). The National Finals will be held on December 6 in Angeles, Pampanga.
The 39th National MILO Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, ASICS and Smart, 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 (http://www.milo.com.ph) or the MILO Philippines Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/milo.ph). Follow MILO on Twitter (@MiloPH) and Instagram (@MiloPhilippines).