ERIC Panique and Luisa Raterta made a strong case for the national title of the 37th Milo Marathon after blowing past the opposition during the Metro Manila qualifying leg on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds.
Panique, a national team member, topped the men’s side of the 42k event with a time of 2:30:20.51 seconds, while Raterta, a mother of three, ruled the women’s division by clocking 3:14:17 in the leg that attracted a record-shattering 42,214 runners – the highest this year so far.
Irineo Raquin failed to duplicate his title feat in the Condura Skyway Marathon 2013 as he settled for runner-up honors, losing to Panique by a nose (2:30:20.73). A far third was Jeson Agravante with a time of 2:41:55.
Raterta, meanwhile, breasted the tape way ahead of Jennylyn Mendoza, runner up in last year’ 42K contest who finished second (3:23:27), followed by Geralden Sealza (3:32:40) at third.
“Sa unang part binilisan ko talaga para makalayo na ako sa kanila,” said Raterta, a native of Sta. Rosa, Laguna who retired early from her regular day job to focus on running.
It was actually a double celebration for the Raterta family as Luisa’s eldest daughter Leonalyn, 11, won first place in the 3K event with a time of 11:12.
“Bilang magulang mas ok sa akin ito kasi kasama ko sila (pamilya) sa pagtakbo,” she said. “At ang importante kumikita na ako, masaya pa ako sa ginagawa ko.”
Richard Salaño (1:14:36) and Monica Torres (1:29:57), meanwhile, emerged top winners in the 21K event by dominating their respective divisions.
The presence of well-known celebrities also added glitter to the staging of the run as actress, singer and fitness advocate Angelika Dela Cruz, the husband and wife pair of Aubrey Miles and Troy Montero, Karylle, LJ Reyes, Carl Guevarra, Arthur Solinap, and Carlo Gonzales all took part.
Dela Cruz ran the 21K, while the rest competed mostly in the 5K and 3K divisions.
The qualifying race will resume in Iloilo on August 4, before moving to Dumaguete (August 11), Tagbilaran (September 15), Cebu (September 22), Cagayan de Oro (September 29), Butuan (October 6), Davao (October 13), General Santos (October 20), Baguio (November 3), Dagupan (November 10), Tarlac (November 17) and Angeles (November 24).
The national finals will be held on December 8 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.