LIPA CITY – Decorated runners Erineo Raquin and Cellie Rose Jaro ruled the 39th MILO Marathon Lipa qualifiers Sunday (August 9) at the SM City Lipa. Fixtures in MILO events, the duo easily outclassed their closest pursuers to lead 50 runners who earned slots to the National Finals this coming December 6 at the SM City Clark in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Raquin, who won last season’s Metro Manila 42-kilometer qualifying race, took the easier path this time by timing 1:15:13 in the 21-kilometer main event. Coming in a distant Second Place was Archie Patubo (1:18:16) and Third Place Rolando Anonuevo (1:22:33).
The 30-year old Raquin mentioned that he just wanted to meet the qualifying time but now he will try to win the National Finals where the top Filipinos will be sent to the 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016. The native of Oriental Mindoro has had his share of close calls so hopefully 2015 will be his year.
A member of the University of the East athletics varsity, Jaro finished in 1:35:47 to defeat Second Place Janette Lumidao of Saint Clare College of Caloocan (1:37:16) and Third Place Rowena Valdez of the national duathlon team (1:40:23). Jaro is one of the three Jaro running sisters from Davao and was the champion of the General Santos qualifier in 2013.
Ironically, Cellie Rose succeeded her sister Criselyn as champion of the Lipa Leg. She admitted she had difficulty preparing because she also had to give importance to her schoolwork.
An estimated 7,000 runners were blessed with good weather as they answered the starting guns. A portion of their registration fees will go to MILO’s continuing advocacy of providing athletic shoes to poor but deserving public school pupils.
Naga City will play host to next week’s qualifying race at the SM City Naga. For registration and more information, contact Francis Barja at (0917) 655-1000.
Other Winners: Joe Marie Javelo and Lanie Zeneza (10 kilometers), Gilbert Rutaquio and Lovely Torres Gemeroi (five kilometers), Jerome Patulot and Mary Garyll Matchino (three kilometers).