DUMAGUETE CITY – Jeson Agravante and Jennelyn Nobleza upstaged their equally illustrious fellow competitors to top the 40th MILO Marathon Dumaguete qualifying race last Sunday (October 2) at the Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol grounds. The elite duo will be joined by 74 other runners who met the time standards for the National Finals set for December 4 in Iloilo City.
Agravante finally hit MILO gold again after winning the Metro Manila 42.195-kilometer qualifiers way back in 2012. Running 21 kilometers this time, he edged out another decorated runner in Maclin Sadia by a mere six seconds by clocking 1:12:06 and two-time Metro Manila champion Eric Panique who took Third Place at 1:13:45.
Just like Agravante, Nobleza was a regular podium finisher in the Metro Manila qualifiers but has since opted to qualify via the regional 21-kilometer races. She finished with a time of 1:29:20 ahead of Michelle Ann Sampang (1:31:57) and Iresh Belleza (1:38:46) who also have had their share of top three honors in past legs.
The champions received PHP 10,000.00 each and trophies but more importantly get a shot at bigger prizes come the Nationals. The chance to represent the Philippines in an international marathon awaits the top local finishers.
The MILO Marathon will take a brief respite and resume racing with their first race in Mindanao, the General Santos qualifiers on October 16. After that, the cities of Cagayan de Oro (October 23), Butuan (October 30) and Davao (November 6) will take turns at hosting the qualifiers before determining the final start list for Iloilo.
Other Winners: Eric Chepsiror and Mereeis Ramirez (10 kilometers), Rommell Hulleza and Lijevean Noay (five kilometers) and Kim Patrick Corsino and Reah Obido (three kilometers).