Saturday, February 21, 2009
Looking forward to national qualifiers in the GenSan Milo Marathon elims
The 33rd Milo Marathon General Santos City regional elimination race fires off at the country's tuna capital early tomorrow, February 22, and this time around we may finally have Mindanaon runners making it to the national finals in Manila by winning a local race.
Both defending champions in last year's male and female categories are reportedly joining the race - Junel Boncit of Tagum, Davao del Norte and Estela Mamac-Diaz of Davao City.
Boncit ruled last year's race with a finishing time of 1:08:05, way faster than the 1:15:00 qualifying time set for this year. In fact, last year's results show all top 4 runners finishing in less than 1:15:00. Elmer Bartolo came in second at 1:08:40, Rafael Poliquit was third in 1:12:47, and Noel Espina was in fourth place with 1:13:01.
On the distaff side, Diaz recorded a fast 1:24:05, again way below this year's 1:35:00 qualifying time for women. Second placer Monaliza Ambasa (1:26:47) and third placer Merlie Edullantes (1:33:35) also finished with times below 1:35:00.
Given the relatively flat terrain of General Santos City, fast results below this year's qualifying times are really very possible tomorrow. More than that, both Boncit and Mamac are strong runners.
In Kidapawan City in 2006, both Boncit and Diaz ruled the regional elimination race of the 30th edition of the Milo Marathon. Boncit led the men's field with a time of 1:19:37 while Diaz finished unchallenged in 1:41.14.
Boncit, who decided to run in Kidapawan City then to avoid the tough competition in Davao, discovered that running in this place I call home in the foothills of Mt. Apo was not that easy either.
“Mahirap pala ang course dito dahil paglabas mo, pababa ang daan at pagbalik mo paakyat naman (The course here is difficult because you start off going downhill but it's all uphill on the way back)," Boncit was quoted as saying.
If Boncit's time in the tough Kidapawan City 21k course then was that fast, there can be no doubt that he can run much faster in General Santos. So with Estela.
To both of them, good luck!
(Photo from PhilStar.com shows Estela Mamac-Diaz at the finish of the 32nd Milo Marathon regional elimination race in General Santos City last year)