Tuesday May, 28 2024 11:31:17 AM

Lapiz, Abella Shine in Manila Leg of 2024 National MILO Marathon

SPORTS • 16:00 PM Tue Apr 30, 2024
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National Milo Marathon news release
Winners Florendo Lapiz and Lizane Abella raise their respective awards after besting over 20k runners in Manila.

MANILA, Philippines– Two familiar faces have emerged triumphant in the 42K centerpiece event of the Manila Leg of the National MILO Marathon in Sunday, April 28.

Florendo Lapiz and Lizane Abella displayed an epic performance for leading the course throughout the race, besting hundreds of elite runners in the country’s grandest and longest-running footrace.

The successful turnout of 20,000 has rendered the streets of Pasay and Manila green, where people from all walks of life enjoyed different distance categories ranging from 1K, 3K, 5K to 10K, 21K, and 42K.

Lapiz made a significant lead against second placer Salvador Polillo, both posting a time of 2:42:33 and 2:49:54, respectively. Completing the magic three is another hot contender Welfred Esporma, who clocked in at 2:58:51.

On the distaff side, Abella bested her contemporaries with the time of 3:21:05. She is followed by last year’s Manila leg female winner, Maricar Camacho, who finished second at 3:26:19, and Jewel De Luna clocking in at 3.27:05.

The unusually higher temperatures have proven to be a bit challenging for Lapiz and Abella, both Cebu natives. Nevertheless, the flat thoroughfares made it somehow an easy route to navigate. With sheer grit and determination, Lapiz and Abella maintained their pace until they reached the finish line.

"Pag dito kasi, kailangan galingan mo talaga. Gagawin mo talaga ang best mo sa laro na ito. Pero ito ang hilig namin eh. Manalo man o matalo, tanggap namin iyon,” said Lapiz.

Abella was able to hit her breakaway in the 32KM-mark after outracing second placer Camacho. She revealed that her children were her biggest motivation for this race.

“Pinaghirapan ko talaga itong race na ito,” said Abella. “Pinush ko talaga ang sarili ko para manalo ako. Inaalay ko itong panalo ko sa mga anak ko.”

Both Lapiz and Abella have earned their top seeds in the National Finals, where they will compete with the country’s best in Cagayan de Oro in December.

Not to be outdone are the side activities that transpired after the races. In the cheer dance competition, delegates from different schools were in a fierce battle. Camarin D. Elementary School, Signal Village National Highschool, and Colegio de San Juan de Letran were named champions in their respective divisions. Meanwhile, Jose Rizal University was awarded the biggest delegation.

More than Just a Race

For 60 years, MILO has committed itself to bringing out the champion in every Filipino through its sports programs. MILO® Marathon transcends beyond the finish line by offering a path for families and individuals to unlock their potential, fostering valuable life lessons like grit, determination, and teamwork to reach their successes.

The Garcia family is building their own tradition of joining the MILO Marathon every year. Mariji Garcia and Jason Garcia have been running in the MILO Marathon since they were teenagers. Now that they are parents to their 5-year-old, Jaemio, they want to continue the tradition and let their son experience the wonders of running.

“We wanted our son to experience, just for exposure, ‘yung race,” said Mariji, mom of Jaemio. She revealed that her son has mild autism and found the MILO Marathon as an ideal avenue for her son to build confidence, socialize, and feel a sense of accomplishment. “Maganda kasi maraming kids din ang sumasali which is a good thing for our son para sa kanyang social development.”  The Garcia family hopes that they can join the higher categories in the future.

"It’s the inspiring stories like the Garcia family that fuel us to make sports accessible to everyone. It is our great privilege to be an avenue for many Filipinos to create their memorable experiences in the National MILO® Marathon,” said Sampan. “This event is truly a celebration of what running is about. More than just a race, it’s a communal journey that brings people together from all walks of life."

After the Manila Leg, the race will set foot in Puerto Princesa (May 12), Legazpi (June 2), Cavite-Vermosa (September 22), Tagbilaran (September 29), Roxas (October 6), Iloilo (October 20), Bacolod (October 27), General Santos (November 10), Davao (November 17) and Tarlac (November 24). The National Finals will be held on December 1 in Cagayan de Oro.

Interested participants can register online for the upcoming legs by visiting: https://www.milo.com.ph/national-milo-marathon

The 2024 National MILO® Marathon is made possible by our platinum sponsors Garmin, Decathlon, Ford, the official mobility partner, Adidas, Cristallino, and silver sponsors Banh Mi Kitchen, SIP Purified Water, Salonpas, KOKO Krunch, MILO® Cereals, Nescafé Classic, and MAGGI.

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