MANILA, Philippines – A banana harvester dominated the 21-k men’s competition during the 36th Milo Marathon Cebu leg over the weekend.
Junel Laguindo submitted a time of 1:11:56 to qualify for the national finals on December 9.
Following Laguindo are Mohammad Sherwin Managil who finished a distant second in 1:14:46 and Bonifacio Monjas who finished third in 1:14:49.
Laguindo said he devoted two to three hours to his training everyday despite the physical stress of working as a banana harvester.
“I work very hard to support my family, both as a worker and as a competitive runner. Running is something I truly enjoy, and I am very blessed to have been able to make my passion a source of livelihood,” said Languido.
He said he hopes his son will follow his footsteps.
“I want to be able to share this with my son when he is older. I really hope to inspire him to run through my accomplishments,” said the Bukidnon native.
In the distaff side, Mary Joy Tabal, a veteran of many runs clocked in at 1:26:56 to win the 21-k women’s race.
Joeyry Lee posted 1:37:49 for second place, while Madelyn Carter stopped the clock at 1:44:41 for third place.
Tabal said she is very much excited to run again in the national finals.
"The next race will not only be about making the top ranks, but also about improving my status as an athlete in the country. I will be running alongside the Philippines' finest and I'd like to set the pace and show a remarkable performance," said the Visayan elite runner.
A total of 21,697 runners have joined the race, marking the biggest regional leg of the competition this year.
Milo regional organizer Ricky Ballesteros said the race provides an excellent opportunity for the region’s athletes to show their wares in the national arena.
“The Milo Marathon has always been Cebu’s biggest and most celebrated sporting event of the year. The race does not only bring everyone – young and old, athlete and enthusiast – together for health and wellness, but also shines the spotlight on the region’s best athletes. Out of the multitude of runners we have out on the tracks today, some will strive harder and earn the honor of representing the region in the National Finals,” said Ballesteros.