• Tabal, Agravante rule National Marathon


    Mary Joy Tabal won her fourth consecutive Milo Marathon crown and Jeson Agravante grabbed his first title during the 40th National Marathon National Finals on Sunday.

    The champions received P150,000 in cash and a trophy each.

    But Tabal received an additional P250,000 for placing second in the 42K female open category.

    Both will also be sent to Canada on all-expense paid trips to represent the Philippines in the 2017 Ottawa Marathon.

    Olympian and Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Tabal broke her own record by posting her time of 2:47:49, enabling her to win a special prize of an additional P50,000. Following Tabal were Christabel Martes (03:10:11) in second place and Lizane Abella (03:14:27) in third.

    Meanwhile, Agravante posted a time of 02:35:13, besting his closest rivals Maclin Sadia (02:35:22) and Julius Sermonia (02:37:01) who came in second and third, respectively.

    A month ago, Tabal was worried about defending her crown in this year’s finals. “I only had minimal training for this race because I have been training and racing so much this year. I was scared of getting injuries and burnout,” said Tabal.

    “However, my coach John Philip Dueñas reassured me that he is confident I have prepared well. I ran today with a relaxed pace and just maintained it. I’m very happy that I won.”

    Tabal will now prepare for the 2017 Ottawa Marathon and the 2017 SEA Games happening in August 2017.

    The closest I came to winning in the Finals was in 2004, where I placed third. I really wasn’t expecting to win because there are so many great runners who joined this race,” said Agravante. “It was a pleasant race with a flat route and I was able to enjoy it very much at a relaxed pace.”

    He has a few more races lined up for the rest of the year before he starts his preparations for the 2017 Ottawa Marathon.


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