TARLAC: Eduardo “Vertek” Buena¬vista aced the 39th National MILO Marathon Tarlac qualifying leg on Sunday that was participated by 13,000 runners.
The 5-time MILO Marathon King and current MILO Marathon record holder posted a time of 1:13:19 in the 21K male division, besting his rivals Jessie Guiquing (1:21:01) and Jay Lomyog (1:21:29) who placed second and third, respectively.
In the distaff side, 26-year-old Cinderella Lorenzo, 7th placer in the 2014 MILO Marathon National Finals, proved the intermittent rains were no obstacle as she comfortably placed first with a time of 1:34:59. Shane Acosta (1:43:51) came in at second place while Berna Pulmano (1:49:54) finished third.
Buenavista, a Philippine Air Force sergeant, and Lorenzo secured their slots in the National Finals with each taking home the top prize of P10,000 cash and a trophy. Both will go head-to-head with the country’s best runners at the National Finals in Angeles on December 6, where the MILO Marathon King and Queen titles are up for grabs. This year’s King and Queen will be sent by MILO to the United States on an all-expense paid trip for a chance to run in the prestigious 2016 Boston Marathon.
The Tarlac qualifying race turned out to be a meeting of generations of runners. The 36-year-old winner in the male division was not the only Buenavista who made waves in the Tarlac race. His son, 14-year-old Edward Josh Buenavista, showed he is following his father’s footsteps by placing third in the 5K male division.
“As a father, I couldn’t be any prouder of him. He trains with me all the time. I coach him, give him advice and he listens to me,” the older Buenavista said.
Former MILO Marathon King and Philippine National Team member Allan Ballester was also at the race to support his eldest son, 17-year-old Alex, who showcased his running prowess by placing 4rth in the 10K male division. The passion for running is truly in the genes of this family, as Allan, the head of safety and security in the organizing team RunRio, revealed his five other kids are set to join the MILO Marathon Lipa race.
The next races will be in Balanga (July 19), before heading to Manila (July 26), Calapan (August 2), Lipa (August 9), Naga (August 16), Lucena (August 30), Iloilo (September 20), Bacolod (September 27), Tagbilaran (October 4), Cebu (October 11), General Santos (October 18), Davao (November 8), Butuan (November 15), and Cagayan De Oro (November 22). The National Finals will be held on December 6 in Angeles, Pampanga.
The 39th National MILO Marathon was made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, ASICS and Smart Communications along with the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.