The National MILO Marathon is set to conclude its 42nd season on a high note as the country’s biggest and longest-running footrace will hold its National Finals in Laoag City on Dec. 9 (Sunday).
Around 12,000 runners from different age groups and race categories—3K, 5K, 10K, 21K, and 42K National Finals —will hit the streets starting at Laoag Centennial Arena. Of the participants, more than 800 elite runners are qualified for the season’s national finals.
Throughout the season, the National MILO Marathon has underscored the life lessons that runners can learn from joining the event. It’s ongoing theme, “Magsama-sama, Tumakbo, Matuto”, was driven by values such as discipline, resilience, and determination, which runners can take with them in their journey in life. The culminating race marks the conclusion of the 10-leg qualifiers of the event’s latest cycle.
For the first time, Ilocos Norte’s capital, Laoag hosts the much-awaited finale in commemoration of their Provincial bicentennial anniversary celebration. MILO, along with the local governments of Laoag City and Ilocos Norte Province will bring forth exciting activities that will feature the rich cultural heritage of Ilocanos and Laoageños, such as showcasing traditional performances and serving Ilocano dishes, that aim to give the participants a unique and enjoyable experience.
Along the thoroughfares, runners can look forward to marveling at the beauty of Ilocos and Laoag, as the race route goes along several tourist spots of the city and province, including the Laoag sand dunes in some of the long distance categories.
The Race to 2019 SEA Games
The 42K event winners of the 42nd National MILO Marathon will be crowned the MILO Marathon King and Queen. Both winners will each be awarded with prizes and a chance to compete in an international race in 2019, as earlier announced by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association during the kickoff of the series last July.
On top of the rewards, this year’s MILO Marathon King and Queen will be the runners to beat for aspiring contenders for the 2019 SEA Games.
With the prestigious prize on the line, stiff competition is brewing among the local elite runners, including five-time reigning MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal, who is fixed on claiming her sixth winning streak and break the women’s time record. Reigning MILO Marathon King Joerge Andrade is determined to retain the crown against fierce competitors and fellow running heavyweights Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista, Eric Panique, and Jeson Agravante who will also be joining in the 42K event. Women elites Christabel Martes, Luisa Raterta, and Christine Hallasgo will also vie for the coveted title. James Talla (Kenya), Margaret Njuguna (Kenya), and Bernard Bosuben (Ethiopia) are among the foreign elite runners gunning for the open category.
The MILO Marathon King and Queen will each receive a cash prize of P150,000, a watch from TAG Heuer, and Strideline performance socks from Sock Society. If the King and Queen also win the open category, they will be awarded the corresponding cash prize of P150,000 on top of their prize. An invisible time barrier is also set for the race, and if the King and Queen are able to break this, an extra P100,000 will be awarded. A P50,000 bonus will also be rewarded to the first runner who breaks the men’s course record (2:18:53) of Eduardo Buenavista or the women’s course record (2:48:00) of Mary Joy Tabal. A whopping total of PHP 450,000 each awaits the champions.