Three-time MILO Marathon King Cresenciano Sabal and Janice Tawagin set the pace for the 21K division as they ruled the 37th National MILO Marathon leg in San Pablo, Laguna yesterday.
Sabal, who won the National MILO Marathon crowns in 2005, 2007 and 2009, trekked the challenging route with ease and clocked 1 hour, 17 minutes and 11 seconds to dominate the men's side. Johnny Espana crossed the finish line 20 ticks later at 1:17:38, while Bernardo Desamito Jr. came in third at 1:19:01.
Tawagin, 22, ruled the distaff side at 1:33:01, ahead of Sabal's spouse, Ailene Tolentio (1:36:37) and Marilyn Bermundo (1:42:43).
Both Sabal and Tawagin received a P10,000 cash purse and a slot in the National Finals set on Dec. 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.
As an added incentive to the prestige of winning the country's premier footrace, MILO will be sending this season's MILO Marathon King and Queen to compete with the world's finest athletes at the Paris Marathon in 2014.
As an ongoing commitment to develop sports in the country, MILO's Help Give Shoes advocacy provides 500 pairs of rubber shoes to beneficiary schools in San Pablo.
The qualifying race will resume in Manila on July 28, before advancing to Iloilo (Aug. 4), Dumaguete (Aug. 11), Tagbilaran (Sept. 15), Cebu (Sept. 22), Cagayan de Oro (Sept. 29), Butuan (Oct. 6), Davao (Oct. 13), General Santos (Oct. 20), Baguio (Nov. 3), Dagupan (Nov. 10), Tarlac (Nov. 17) and Angeles (Nov. 24).