Urdaneta, Philippines, 15 July 2018 – The 42nd National MILO Marathon kicked off on a high note as the city of Urdaneta welcomed nearly 13,000 runners, making it the highest-participated race in the city. Track racer Kurt Jomar Lamparas and elite runner Christabel Martes took the spotlight and placed first in the MILO Nutri Up 21K male and female categories, respectively. They each took home the top purse of P10,000 in cash and a trophy, and booked their slots to the National Finals in Laoag on December 9 to try and claim the MILO Marathon King and Queen titles.

Kurt Jomar Lamparas posted a time of 1:14:26, beating his fiercest competitors Cesar Castaneto, Jr. (1:14:31), who placed second, and Robeno Javier (1:16:48), who placed third in the male category. In the female category, Christabel Martes clocked in with the time of 1:31:25, relegating Rowena Valdez (1:40:19) to second place, and Jocelyn Elijeran (1:46:53) to third.

It was the first time for Lamparas to win the 21K race at the National MILO Marathon. Admitting his shock on his win, Lamparas shared that he was only focused to finish the race and that certain pain points hindered his pace temporarily. “I incurred blisters when I was at the 10K mark, which made it hard for me to continue because the pain was getting worse as I went on. But I was determined to push through and ran along with the other runners I was with,” he said. Nevertheless, the tracker from Arellano University has added another feather on his cap and looks ahead to vie for more short and long-distance races in the future.

Despite sustaining injuries, with only three weeks to train before the race, the former SEA Games athlete Martes clinched the first prize once again after winning last year’s Urdaneta race. “I only had minimal training because I got an injury prior to this,” Martes said. “Because of that, the race was extra challenging for me but I persevered and kept my own pace. I am very pleased that I still managed to claim the top prize.”

For the National Finals, Martes already lined up her plans to prepare for the big event. “I have booked my races that will take place before the National Finals. Those races will serve as my training for the finale.”

More than a staunch advocate of sports, MILO has played an active role in helping underprivileged Filipino youth reach for their dreams by giving them brand new pairs of running shoes through the Help Give Shoes advocacy. This year, with the help of the Department of Education, MILO will donate 1,500 shoes to deserving public schoolchildren across the country. In addition to the shoes, MILO will also donate 2,500 basketballs to deserving public schools nationwide.

The next stop of the 42nd National MILO Marathon will be in Metro Manila on July 29. Store registration for the Manila Leg is still open until July 22. The third NMM leg will be in Tarlac on August 26, followed by Batangas (September 16), Lucena (September 30), Iloilo (October 7), Cebu (October 14), General Santos (October 21), Butuan (November 11), Cagayan De Oro (November 18), and in Laoag for the National Finals on December 9.