Calapan, Philippines, 02 August 2015 – SEA Games silver medalist and Philippine National Team member Mervin Guarte and MILO APEX Running Clinic coach Janette Agura clinched the first place honors in the 21K male and female divisions at the 39th National MILO Marathon Calapan qualifying leg on Sunday. Calapan is one of the new locations of the MILO Marathon this year. Over 5,000 runners of all ages graced the event and helped establish the record of the biggest fun run in Oriental Mindoro, to date.
Guarte and Agura 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.
It was Guarte’s first time to run in the 21K category. The 23-year-old native of Calapan clocked in at 01:12:12, beating rivals Jujet De Asis (01:14:56) and Roel Galvero (01:15:34) who came in second and third place, respectively.
Guarte’s big jump to the 21K event was no easy feat. “Since 2008 to 2014, I only joined the 5K and 10K events,” shared Guarte. “It was hard to make the transition to long distance running, but with the proper training and guidance from my coaches and teammates, I was able to do it.”
In the distaff side, 37-year-old Janette Agura comfortably clinched the top spot with a time of 01:38:33. Jenny Manansala (02:03:17) finished in second place, and Herrera Mercy (02:15:47) in third place.
In 2013, Agura, a native of Lipa, finished in the top 10 of the MILO Marathon National Finals. She is determined to train well and do her best at the National Finals. Aside from her personal training, she is also busy coaching her De La Salle Lipa students aged 7-12. She is also training her MILO APEX students, adults 40 years and over, who will run in the Lipa leg of the MILO Marathon. “I joined the Calapan leg so that I can guide my students as they run in the Lipa race,” shared Agura. “I enjoy sharing my knowledge to my students. It’s an amazing feeling knowing I am able to inspire them, and in turn, they inspire me too.”
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 Lipa (August 9) before heading to 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).