Rafael Pescos and Cinderella Lorenzo were hailed as the new champions in the men’s and women’s divisions of the centerpiece 42-kilometer event of the 41st National Milo Marathon Metro Manila qualifying race participated by over 32,000 runners at the Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.
Pescos received the fruit of his six-month training as he clocked in two hours, 38 minutes and 27 seconds to win the men’s race and secure his slot in the national finals on December 3 in Cebu City.
Hot on Pescos’ heels were the other podium finishers Erick Panique, who wounded up with second place after tallying 2:43:10 and Noel Tillor, who finished third with 2:47:31.
Back for a redemption, the 23-year old campaigner went on a rigorous preparation following his dismal 11th place finish in the 40th Milo Marathon national finals last year in Iloilo City after suffering from a flu two weeks prior to the big event.
“I cried back then in Iloilo. I said to myself, ‘I will get back and train hard,” said Pescos, a member of the Cebu-based Spectrum Runners.
With the national finals slated in his home province, the Cebuano native vowed to brace for a tougher race as he wants no letdown on his “homecourt”.
“It’s the finals. I’ll work hard. I’ll train like I’m going to die.”
Lorenzo, meanwhile, went on a Cinderella run in this edition of Milo Marathon in the capital region.
The 28-year old regular participant copped her first championship in the 42-kilometer category after clocking in 3:16:15.
Lorenzo finished third in the 42k last year and with the 2014 Milo Marathon king Rafael Poliquit’s consistent prodding, she rejoined the showpiece run this year and surprisingly topped it.
“This is the first time I won an elimination run. That is why I am so happy,” said the Team LaTak (Lakad Takbo) member, who outran Lany Cardona (second place with 3:23:38) and Lizane Abella (third place with 3:29:48).
For this milestone, the lady runner from Taguig City said that she drew inspiration from her family—her husband Jansen, who served as her trainer, and their three sons, with the two of them also joining the marathon for fun.
Pescos and Lorenzo, who bested more than 2,000 runners in their category, shared the values they learned in the run as well.
“What I learned here is that I must have self-confidence and determination to win,” said the defending Cebu City Marathon champion Pescos.
“Sacrifice, focus, perseverance and discipline,” bared Lorenzo when asked on what she picked up in the competition.
Milo Sports executive Robbie De Vera was elated to see the two winners and the rest of the participants learn as it was the purpose of this year’s run.
“For the first time, we highlighted the values that the participants can learn from the Milo Marathon,” said De Vera, who spearheaded the event centered on the theme “Magsama-sama. Tumakbo. Matuto.”
“Life is like a marathon. In every step, we have something to learn,” said De Vera.