MARATHON CHAMPIONS. Mary Joy Tabal of Cebu and Rafael Poliquit of Davao del Norte topped their respective divisions in the 42nd MILO Marathon National Finals held in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte last Sunday. (Contributed Photo)
MANILA -- Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Mary Joy Tabal made history in the MILO Marathon after winning her sixth title in the tournament's national finals in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte last Sunday.
The 29-year-old Cebuana clocked two hours, 56 minutes and 31 seconds to finish the 42-kilometer race which started at the Laoag Centennial Arena and ended at the President Ferdinand Marcos Memorial Stadium.
Cristabel Martes, who hails from La Trinidad, Benguet placed second after crossing the finish line with a time of 2:59:29 followed by Cristine Hallasgo, who clocked 3:06:16.
In the men's division, Rafael Poliquit of Davao del Norte collected his third title with the best time of two hours, 28 minutes and 47 seconds. He ruled the country's oldest and longest-running tournament in 2014 and 2015.
Jerald Zabala came in second with a time of 2:31:25, while Richard Salano finished third with a time of 2:33:17. Tabal and Poliquit each received PHP150,000 in cash, a TAG Heuer watch and Strideline performance socks from Sock Society. Both runners have earned slots in the 30th SEA Games, which will be held in the Philippines next year.
The MILO Marathon National Finals was held for the first time in Laoag City on December 9 to celebrate Ilocos Norte's bi-centennial anniversary.
MILO is a staunch supporter of sports in the country. This year, with the help of the Department of Education, MILO will donate 1,500 pairs of shoes to public schoolchildren and 2,500 basketballs to public schools nationwide. Cabeza Elementary School and Shamrock Elementary School will be the recipients of the new running shoes and basketballs in Laoag City. (PNA)