DAGUPAN CITY – Just like a year ago, Cesar Castaneto crowned himself the as the first regional qualifier by topping the Dagupan leg of the 40th MILO Marathon last Sunday (July 17). Twelve more races are scheduled to determine the participants in the National Finals set for December 4 in Iloilo City.
The 27-year old Castaneto made it a back-to-back by clocking 1:11:23 over the 21-kilometer course, nearly two minutes faster than his winning time last season. He credits his improvement to his coach, four-time MILO Marathon Queen Cristabel Martes.
Coming in Second Place was 2006 MILO Marathon King Julius Sermona (1:13:38) followed by Hernanie Sore (1:14:56). At a far Fourth Place was Duathlon champion Robeno Javier at 1:19:06.
Defending leg champion Martes did not race thus allowing last year’s runner-up Lany Cardona to recapture the Women’s Division title she last held in 2014. Cardona checked in at 1:31:48, a clearly dominant performance way ahead of runner-ups Shane Acosta (1:42:27) and Eunice Lata-an (1:44:11).
Cardona plans to compete abroad to prepare for the December Nationals. Aside from the trophy and cash prizes, the 2016 MILO King and Queen will be sent as the official Philippine representatives to a major international marathon in 2017.
A total of 9,300 runners answered the gun for the 21, 10, five and three-kilometer categories. The next qualifier will be hosted by Tarlac City on July 24.
Other Winners: Erwin Bong Generalao and Ruby Jean Cabang (10 kilometers), Kurt Mark Lamparas and Sisa Mae Caronongan (five kilometers), Hussein Lorana and Melody Ortiz (three kilometers).