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Sports

Penniless Mindoro native P10,000 richer

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MANILA, Philippines - With only an exact fare money in his wallet to take him back to Mindoro, Irineo Raquin knew he had to win the race or go home broke, literally.

In a grand display of guts, Raquin overcame the odds to win his first 21K title in the Southern Luzon leg of the Milo National Marathon eliminations in Batangas yesterday.

And he went home P10,000 richer.

Raquin copped the men’s men’s title in 1:10:37, beating Alquin Bolivar (1:12:20) and Ardy Malimata (1:23:01) to win the top prize and gain a seat in the national grand finals in December.

Going to Batangas to compete was a harrowing experience for the new champion who traveled from Oriental Mindoro on Friday before the race weekend without any arranged accommodations and only his ferry fare back to Mindoro in his pockets. He said sheer determination brought him to Batangas to compete and that being crowned champion was a big plus.

Maricel Maquilan also traveled all the way from Manila where she works as head coach of the Milo running school in Taguig and gave herself the satisfaction of beating fancied Kenyan runner Peris Poywo to rule the distaff side for the fifth time since 2004.

 A native of Polomolok, South Cotabato, she used to be a P.E. teacher at the University of the East in Manila.

Maquilan clocked 1:30:40, barely three seconds ahead of the 31-year-old Kenyan (1:33:57).

She regained her title after only placing second last year. She first won her 21K plum back in 2004 then again in 2005, 2006 and in 2008.

Maquilan said Batangas has a special place in her heart considering that she won there many times. She said the weather and its proximity to Manila are the reasons she would always opt to run in the city.

ALQUIN BOLIVAR

ARDY MALIMATA

BATANGAS

IRINEO RAQUIN

MAQUILAN

MARICEL MAQUILAN

MILO NATIONAL MARATHON

MINDORO

ORIENTAL MINDORO

PERIS POYWO

RAQUIN

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