TAGBILARAN CITY – Local bet Emmanuel Comendador scored a rare three-peat at the 39th MILO Marathon Tagbilaran qualifiers Sunday (October 4). A total of 6,400 runners converged at the Island City Mall and bucked the rainy conditions in a show of force.
Comendador, who also competes in triathlons, finished the 21-kilometer course in 1:15:24, matching his time when he began his reign in 2013. In a near photo finish, Chobie Duenas (1:22:10) took Second Place by edging Candelario Logrono (1:22:12) and tow 13 other male runners to the National Finals set for December 6 at the SM City Clark in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Ramirez, who won the leg in her native Dumagete two years ago clocked 1:44:58 followed in the distance by Mary Jane Balazuela (1:51:41) and Rhodora Oporto (1:55:50). However, it will only be Ramirez and Oporto who will make the Nationals for meeting the times of their respective age groups.
Both champions had to overcome factors that affected their preparations leading up to the race. Comendador is concentrating on his final semester as a Marine Engineering student at the Philippine Maritime Institute-Bohol while Ramirez is a full-time mother to her four-year old daughter.
Nevertheless, all qualifiers can look forward to the Nationals where increased cash prizes await the winners plus the chance to run at the prestigious 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016 in the United States. Close to 750 elite runners have already secured spots with five more regional qualifiers left on the calendar.
Cebu City will host next week’s qualifiers on October 11, expected to be the biggest as far as participants are concerned outside of Metro Manila. For more information, get in touch with Ricky Ballesteros at (0920) 908-9742.
The MILO Marathon will then proceed to Mindanao for the final four legs. In all stops,, poor but deserving public school children are gifted with new athletic shoes as part of the race’s continuing advocacy.
Other Winners: Jiven Pojas and Kisha Mae Delechos (10 kilometers), Jonathan Pagauna and Irene Cabuenas (five kilometers) and Joshua Abitona and Rosemarie Tumamak (three kilometers).