MILO's Help Give Shoes Advocacy aims to deliver bright opportunities by distributing shoes to young Filipino athletes across the country.
Rodil Quilab and Mereeis Ramirez swept the 21-K division top honors at the 37th National MILO Marathon in Dumaguete Sunday. Both runners received a cash prize of P10,000.00 and a trophy while clinching an all-expense trip to the National Finals set in December at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.
Of 3,496 runners who competed in the race, 12 other marathoners had qualified to National Finals to join victors Quilab and Ramirez. This season’s MILO Marathon King and Queen will get the chance to compete with the world’s finest athletes at the esteemed Paris Marathon in 2014.
Despite today’s difficult terrain, Quilab prevailed in the half-marathon distance at an impressive 1:15:05, followed closely by resilient contenders Riez Enriquez (1:15:33) and Romulo Jr. Balinas (1:16:31). The 22-year old Iligan bet bagged the third award at the Cagayan de Oro Dahilayan Trail 55K Ultra Marathon in 2011 and drew a second place finish at the Kagay-an Festival Marathon in 2012.
“Engaging in the sport has developed my discipline and determination and I aim to help frame characters by setting a good example for my four siblings and other young athletes,” said Quilab, a college student from Iligan City Technological Institute Polytechnic College. “Today’s race landscape was difficult but I remained just as driven to beat my personal target and prove myself in the National Finals track.”
In the distaff side, 34-year old Ramirez proved her dominance by clocking in at 1:37:57, trouncing female counterparts Iresh Belleza (1:48:01) and Nelfa Bayonado (1:52:10). Ramirez reclaimed a regional lead title after a second place finish at last year’s MILO Marathon Bacolod 21-K female eliminations race. She copped the 2010 MILO Marathon 21-K division run by besting fellow elite tracksters in Dumaguete. The Dumaguete native expressed her passion for running and hopes to earn a place in the top ranks of the MILO Marathon National Finals. “I briefly put off my aspiration in high school to start a family but I never seized to develop my passion for running. Getting back on the race track gave me an opportunity to fulfill my life’s dream and support my children,” said Ramirez, a mother of three who has been running the MILO marathon since 2007. “Compared to today’s familiar trail, the running course in the National Finals should present a bigger challenge to my strategy. I will focus on improving my speed work and building my overall performance to match my opponents at the finals.”
MILO not only expects to see an action-packed culmination in December after a remarkable series of regional race events but also a post-season growth in the Philippine sports community. “We continue to see the rise and international recognition of Filipino talent in basketball, boxing, and other sports. As we lead our champions to the National Finals, MILO also endeavors to create a higher level of competition in athletics to shape local athletes for the global stage,” said MILO Sports Executive Andrew Neri.
As an ongoing commitment to develop sports in the country, MILO’s Help Give Shoes advocacy provides pairs of rubber shoes to various public schools across the country. A total of 500 pairs were delivered to beneficiary schools today in Dumaguete, namely North City Elementary School, San Jose National High School, Calindagan Elementary School, Dumaguete City High School, and Junob National High School. With the invaluable support of the Department of Education and the National MILO Marathon runners, MILO has given a total of 27,700 shoes to date.
The qualifying race will resume in Tagbilaran on September 15, before advancing to the Queen City of the South Cebu (September 22), Cagayan de Oro (September 29), Butuan (October 6), Davao (October 13), General Santos (October 20), Baguio (November 3), Dagupan (November 10), Tarlac (November 17) and Angeles (November 24). The 37th MILO Marathon National Finals will then be on December 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.
The 37th National MILO Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, Reebok, SMART and SM Mall of Asia, along with endorsements from the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee. For more information on the race and its advocacy, visit the MILO marathon website (milo.com.ph) or access the MILO Philippines fanpage on Facebook. Follow MILO on Twitter (@MILOPH).
About the National MILO Marathon
The National MILO Marathon is an annual marathon event open to amateur and professional runners. From its humble beginnings in 1974 as a single marathon race in Metro Manila attended by 747 participants, the National MILO Marathon has grown to be the biggest, longest, grandest national running event in the country attracting more than hundreds of thousands of runners across the country. The race is organized by RunRio, Inc.