Delos Santos crowned Milo Marathon queen again
Quick on her feet and confident with every stride, Mary Grace delos Santos proved last year’s victory in the National Milo Marathon was no fluke with a second straight crown in the women’s 42k race yesterday at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.
Relentlessly working hard on improving her performance the past two years, the 25-year-old Zamboanga native underlined her worth as the country’s current marathon queen with a personal best of two hours, 49 minutes and 29 seconds.
This year’s race proved unique with local runners also given a category of their own in the wake of the growing number of foreign participants in the race.
Cebu’s Mary Joy Tabal topped the local 42k women’s race by checking in at 3:05:12.
The victory continued Tabal’s impressive run the last two years, which included her winning the 2011 Adidas King of the Road Southeast Asia meet and her record-breaking feat in the Singapore Sundown Marathon.
Delos Santos, meanwhile, bested a strong roster that included Southeast Asian Games veteran and two-time champion Jho-ann Banayag, who settled for second with a 2:55:56 clocking, and Kenya’s Everline Atancha, who checked in 3:03:39.
Delos Santos believes her victory was a reward for all the work she has put in the past two years, joining every race at every opportunity and also using the disappointment of not making the Southeast Asian Games team last year as a motivation to improve further.
“I’m just maintaining the focus in training and it showed in this race,” said Delos Santos, whose coach, Roy Vence, is a six-time champion of the country’s most prestigious footrace.
Kenyan James Tallam also pulled off a repeat in the international men’s division with three-time champion Eduardo Buenavista emerging as top finisher in the local race.
Buenavista’s clocking of 2:29:45, though, was only fourth overall behind Tallam (2:26:34) and two other foreigners in Josphat Too (2:28:52) and Alex Melly (2:29:06) who completed a 1-2-3 finish for Kenyan runners. /inquirer
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