MARY Grace delos Santos led Jho-An Banayag in a 1-2 finish for the Philippines in the distaff side to prevent a total Kenyan domination of the 36th Milo Marathon National Finals after James Tallam towed two compatriots to a podium sweep in the men’s division on Sunday.
Delos Santos retained the title she won last year, finishing the 42.195-kilometer race in two hours, forty-nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds, eclipsing her own record last year of 2:53:11.
Banayag, also a two-time champion, crossed the finish line at the MOA grounds in 2:55:56, for a second straight runner-up finish while Kenya’s Everline Atancha settled for third place at 3:03:39.
The 25-year old Delos Santos pulled away at the 18th-kilometer mark and never looked back.
“Hanggang kaya kong tumakbo, tatakbo ako para sa pamilya ko,” said the University of Zamboanga product.
Tallam led a Kenyan 1-2-3 for the second straight year in the men's race, clocking 2:26:34 to win over Josphat Too (2:28:52) and Alex Melly (2:29:06).
“I ran better this year than last year,” said the Kenyan.
Former Southeast Asian Games marathon champion Eduardo Buenavista also did better this time after failing to finish last year’s race, but it was still not enough to overcome the Kenyans.
Buenavista timed 2:29:45 to settle for the title for local male runners. Mary Joy Tabal, third overall last year, settled for the local female runner’s crown in 3:05:12.
In the 21k Open category, Kenyan David Kipsang won the men’s crown (1:12:23) and Jackeline Nzivo (1:26:48) topped the women’s race.
Richard Salano won the 10K men’s race in thirty-three minutes and fifty-two seconds, while Jenisymll Mabunga claimed the women’s title in 40:10.
Jomar Angus (16:17) and Macrose Dichoso (19:36) ruled the men’s and women’s 5K events, respectively.