THE eliminations of the 41st National Milo Marathon may be far from over before the national finals on December, but the competition is already showing ‘energy to build champions.’
One proof of such champion is 23-year-old Rafael Pescos from Hinigaran, Negros Occidental and now based in Cebu City. The young runner has already won four 42-kilometer marathon before ruling the Milo Marathon Manila Leg on Sunday.
As the runners take a break after their races, Pescos could not hide his happiness while waiting for the awarding to begin as he fulfilled his goal to win the 42-kilometer category for the first time in the Milo Marathon with a time of 2:38:27 in the Manila Leg.
“Happy ang pakiramdam ko dahil nanalo ako kahit malalakas din ang nakalaban ko. Tsaka dinededicate ko itong laro kong ito sa team at sa family ko,” said Pescos.
Pescos is a member of the Spectrum Runners Club for more than a year. He said he used to work as a production worker at General Milling Corporation (GMC) but he resigned as he decided to be a full-time runner in order to focus on his training.
“Six months ko itong (Milo Marathon) pinaghandaan. Pagkatapos ng (national) finals, pinaghandaan ko ito agad," he said.
The victory for Pescos in the 42K was sweeter because he said that he was disappointed with his place on last year’s national finals in Iloilo. He only placed 11 in the overall standings after not being able to train two weeks before the finals in Iloilo due to flu.
“Ang sabi ko sa sarili ko, babawi ako. Magte-training ako ng magte-training para bumawi,” said Pescos.
After six months of training and running 200-kilometers per week, Pescos' hard work paid off in this year’s Milo Marathon Manila Leg as he even led by about five minutes to his closest rival Erick Panique who clocked 2:43:10.
“Ang sabi ko sa sarili ko kanina walang imposible talaga kapag nagtraining ka at may determinasyon ka na manalo,” he shared.
Pescos said that he is hoping to win in this season’s national finals especially that it will happen in his homecourt, Cebu City, on December 3.
“Kita-kita na lang tayo ulit sa finals sa Cebu.”