Tabal, Agravante rule National Marathon

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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.

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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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