REIGNING Milo Marathon King Eduardo Buenavista and Cristabel Martes ruled the elimination run of the 37th National MILO Marathon in Baguio City on Sunday.
Two-time Olympian Buenavista started strong and finished at an impressive 1:12:39, Cesar Castaneto came in second at 1:14:21 and last year’s local champion Hernanie Sore crossed the line at 1:19:55 for third.
“I plan to train here in Baguio with the Philippine athletics team. My training will cover all aspects of running to ensure that I am prepared to meet strong local and foreign competitors,” said Buenavista as he looks forward to the national finals on December 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.
In the women’s division, longtime Baguio bet Martes came in at 1:31:33 to handily beat closest pursuers Gretchen Ablaza (1:49:41) and Rowena Ba-A (1:50:43).
Martes claimed her sixth trip to the National Finals.
“I have had a long career as an athlete. I started running in 1992, and shifted to long-distance running in 1999 when a coach of the Philippine team discovered me,” she said.
The 34-year old Martes, a mother of one and coach at the International Association of Athletics Federations, encouraged other runners her age that they can still hold their own against the younger runners.
“Being 34-years-old, I am currently in my athletic prime. I want to maximize my physical peak and use it to cultivate and develop future running champions. However, I have to start focusing more on motherhood,” said Martes.
The qualifying phase will move to Dagupan on November 10, before advancing to Tarlac (November 17) and Angeles (November 24).