Tabal aims for record 5th Milo Marathon queen title
CEBU CITY, Philippines - It will be like a homecoming for Cebuano Olympic marathoner Mary Joy Tabal when she guns for her fifth title as the 41st Milo Marathon National Finals will be held here for the first time on Sunday, December 3.
No other woman has won the Milo Marathon five times in a row.
This is the third year that the National Finals for the Milo National Marathon will be held outside Manila. In 2015 it was held in Angeles, Pampanga and last year in Iloilo.
Tabal always said that it was in Milo where she first dreamed of becoming a champion. From a 6th place finish in the 5K category in 2009, Tabal has risen to clinch the female title in the All-Filipino category in 2013 and has yet to relinquish it.
Tabal will be among a throng of 32,000 runners who will be hitting the streets of Cebu as early as 3am which is the start for the full 42K distance. Full distance participants must cross the finish line before the 9 am cutoff time.
800 are running for the National Finals, composed of qualifiers from the 16 regional legs.
Participants for the 21K will be released at 4:30 am, those in the 10K at 5am, 3K at 5:30 am and 5K runners at 5:35 am. The starting line will be at the Cebu Normal University while the finish line will be inside the Cebu City Sports Center.
Aside from the Open and All Filipino categories wherein the winners will be hailed as the Milo Marathon king and queen, winners in the age-group categories will also be recognized up until third place.
Another first is that should the All-Filipino male and female winner also finish first in the open category, they will also get an additional cash prize on top of the cash prize they will be receive in the All-Filipino category.
Open male and female winners will get P300,000 each, while the All-Filipino male and female winners will pocket P150,000 each. Aside from that, top finishers will get an additional cash prize of P50,000 if they will be able to break an invisible time barrier set by the organizers. This brings to a total of half million in cash prize for the champions.
Festive and scenic route
Local organizer Ricky Ballesteros promised a challenging yet scenic route that will give runners a glimpse of Cebu’s history throughout the 42K distance.
From the Cebu Normal University, participants will go uptown past the Fuente Osmeña Circle onwards to the Cebu Provincial Capitol then turn right to Escario then Gorordo Avenue then down the Pope John Paul II Avenue towards Sergio Osmeña Jr. Boulevard then take the first U-turn along Pigafetta Street wherein the entrance gate of the Fort San Pedro is located.
They then head for Mandaue City by going up again on Sergio Osmeña Jr. Boulevard then back the Pope John Paul II Avenue then go right towards the Governor M. Cuenco Avenue down to M.L. Quezon Avenue, A.C. Cortes towards the second U-turn along Ouano Avenue near gate 4 of the Cebu International Convention Center then go back the same way.
Upon reaching again the Governor M. Cuenco Avenue, runners should take a right towards Salinas Drive passing by the Cebu I.T. Park then back to the Gorordo Avenue stretch then down Pantaleon del Rosario Street then go inside the Cebu City Sports Center where the finish line is located.
Milo National Marathon Theme
This year’s Milo Marathon theme is “Magsama-sama, Tumakbo, Matuto” which highlights the life lessons that runners can learn from joining the event. Lessons pertaining to the value of discipline, resilience, and determination, which runners can also apply in life. – Rappler.com