MANILA, Philippines – Ilonggo runners Eric Panique and Stephanie Cadosale dominated the competition in the 36th Milo Marathon Bacolod eliminations despite unfavorable weather conditions over the weekend.
Panique stopped the clock meters ahead of Maclin Sadia and Rommel Hulleza, who finished in second and in third place, respectively.
The 26 year-old Ilonggo Philippine team marathoner plans to break his current best of 2:27 when he competes in the National Finals.
"I believe it's time for me to break my career record again. I am looking to match or even surpass the pace of other veteran runners in the National Finals,” said Panique.
“The race requires more than just adequate training and mental preparedness. It requires motivation. This is why athletes need to be reminded why and for whom they are running. In my case, I run for family and for good health. This is inspiration enough to keep me going," he added.
Finishing behind 18-year-old Cadosale in the distaff side were Mereeis Ramirez of MDRC-Dumaguete and Iresh Belleza.
Cadosale admitted being a neophyte in the National Finals, but said she is up to the task.
"To be able to run alongside the women I admire the most in the sport is both an honor and a privilege I look forward to," said the Escalante City, Negros Occidental native.
“I have been running since I was in sixth grade. Fortunately, my passion for running has been able to contribute greatly to my education. I am now pursuing a college degree that would allow me to do what I love the most – to share my passion for running and fitness with aspiring young athletes like myself,” added Cadosale.
About 10,300 runners and sports enthusiasts braved wind and rains to compete in Bacolod.
After the Bacolod leg, the qualifying race will shift to Iloilo City for the last Visayas swing on October 28.
The Mindanao leg will commence in General Santos on November 4, Davao City on November 11, Butuan City on November 18 and Cagayan de Oro City on November 25.
The 36th Milo Marathon National Finals will be on December 9 at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds in Pasay City.