BAGUIO CITY – Not even the rainy and cold weather could stop defending leg champion Julius Sermona from retaining his title at the 39th MILO Marathon Baguio qualifiers Sunday (July 5) at the Melvin Jones Football Grounds. The 35-year old member of the Philippine Air Force emerged the best and fastest over the 21-kilometer course that passed many tourist spots in the Philippines’ Summer Capital.
Despite clocking at 1:18:44, four minutes slower than his winning time last year, Sermona’s effort was enough to thwart the aspirations of Second Placer Michael Tolac (1:19:44) and Third Placer Modesto Estoesta (1:22:07). He will now aim for his second MILO Marathon King crown in the National Finals on December 6, 2015 in Angeles City, Pampanga after first winning the country’s most prestigious road race way back in 2006.
Gretchen Felipe dominated the distaff side with a time of 1:39:46. A First Year student at Cordillera Career Development College in La Trinidad, Benguet, Felipe was too fast for veteran runners Jessica Hieras (2:00:38) and Rashel Pena (2:02:37).
The top Filipino finisher in the National Finals will be entitled to an all-expense paid trip to compete at the 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016. For their efforts, Sermona and Felipe went home with trophies and PHP 10,000.00 each.
Overall, a total of 30 men and two women made the cut for the Nationals. They will join the 40 men and two women who qualified in last week’s season opening race in Dagupan City.
The 39th MILO Marathon season will make a stop next week in Tarlac City. For registration and more information, please contact Dir. Vlad Rodriguez at (0915) 936-2000.
A portion of the registration fees will go to MILO’s continuing advocacy of providing athletic shoes to poor but deserving public school children in coordination with the Department of Education. At least 10,000 pairs are targeted for distribution this year alone as MILO helps build champions both in sports and in life.
Other Winners: Arnold Galap and Marychiel Morales (10 kilometers), Melvin Madongit and Sisa Mae Caronongan (five kilometers) and Hussein Lorana and Ira Mae Gali (three kilometers).