Tabal seals three-peat; Poliquit also keeps Milo title
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2015 - 9:00am

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – She shed tears of joy the moment she overtook history.

Mary Joy Tabal couldn’t help but get emotional after she completed her historic run as the first-ever three-peat female ruler of the National Milo Marathon.

“I was so happy upon crossing the finish line that I cried. I didn’t really expect this. Being the back-to-back champion, there was tremendous pressure going to this race and winning the title for a third time was so difficult,” Tabal said in Filipino after posting the feat in the 39th edition.

The 26-year-old Tabal covered the 42K rain-soaked course in two hours, 48 minutes, 22 seconds to capture her third consecutive crown with plenty to spare against a pair of former champions in Mary Grace delos Santos (3:02:20) and Christabel Martes (3:02:27).

Showing she can also go toe-to-toe with the vaunted Kenyan runners, Tabal also landed a podium finish in the open category. The Cebuana ace took runner-up honors behind Elizabeth Rumokol, who checked in at 2:43:41. Tabal placed ahead of another Kenyan, Margaret Wangui Njunguna (2:49:28).

“Actually I was leading at first as the Kenyans didn’t notice me at the pace along with a group of male runners. But at the Kilometer-16 mark, they finally saw me and targeted me. And they finally caught up at Kilometer-27. I somehow slowed down from there because it started to rain and it felt like I was dragging my feet since then,” said Tabal, who fell short of her personal best of 2:40:00. 

She earned P150,000 for winning the Milo Marathon queen and another P250,000 for her silver medal in the Open division.

The marathon king – Raphael Poliquit – kept his throne, too.

The pride of Tagum City, Davao del Norte summoned all his strength and willpower in the final 200 meters of the race, which started and ended near SM Clark, to win the plum again. Poliquit clocked 2:36:10, beating by eight seconds runner-up Juneil Languido (2:36:18). Maclin Sadia pocketed the bronze (2:37:41).

“I knew my closest rival was just close behind. I consider this a blessing, a fruit of all my hard work,” said Poliquit, also P150,000 richer after the triumph.

As reward, the duo will be sent by Milo to next year’s Boston Marathon where Tabal said she would aim to meet the Olympic standard of 2:42:00.

Kenyans James Tallam (men’s Open full marathon 2:20:07); Hillary Kipchumba Kimutai (men’s Open half marathon 1:09:24), and Judith Jepchirchir (women’s Open 21K 1:32:54) stamped their class in their respective events.

Also victorious were Immuel Camino (men’s local 21K, 1:13:08), Nhea Ann Barcena (women’s local 21 K 1:33:49); Richard Salano (men’s 10K 20:12); Lovely Joy Cordovilla (women’s 10K 36:42); Rullit Matin-aq (men’s 5K 15:56); Mary Ann Crishelle Perez (women’s 5K 19:09); Modrick Cuyom (boys 3K 10:16), Rayya Cewn Abellar (girls’ 3K 12:57).

The 39th National Milo Marathon is made possible by Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila, ASICS, Smart, Subaru, Hisense and Salonpas, along with endorsements from the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

 

ACIRC ACTUALLY I BAYVIEW PARK HOTEL MANILA BOSTON MARATHON CHRISTABEL MARTES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ELIZABETH RUMOKOL HILLARY KIPCHUMBA KIMUTAI HISENSE AND SALONPAS NATIONAL MILO MARATHON TABAL
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