MARY Joy Tabal’s dominance in the Milo Marathon Finals came to an end after Christine Hallasgo snatched the women’s 42-kilometer crown in the Milo Marathon National Finals on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Tarlac City.
Tabal, who won the event for six consecutive years, saw her winning streak end after finishing second again to Hallasgo. It was a repeat of their race in 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in December 2019.
Hallasgo of Malaybalay, City Bukidnon stole the limelight from Tabal anew after clocking in 2 hours, 52 minutes and 23 seconds to win the women’s marathon title, which was held by Tabal for six straight years.
Tabal, 30, clocked in 2:58:49 while Christabel Martes finished third in 3:05:40. Tabal also lost her SEA Games title to Hallasgo after finishing second in New Clark City in December.
Tabal remained gracious in defeat, applauding the rise of Hallasgo.
“When we lose today, it doesn’t mean we lose a lifetime. That’s why God created sunrise and sunset. We will wake up tomorrow appreciating our past. We will move forward no matter how easy or hard the road is,” Tabal told SunStar Cebu.
The Guba, Cebu City-native said she’s also hoping to get that No. 7 title someday.
“I’m going to continue with running and my goals and chase that lucky No. 7 crown,” she said.
Marimar Camacho finished at fourth place in 3:18:40, followed by Cebu’s Lizane Abella in 3:18:42, then by Cebu-based Eva Mae Villarin in 3:28:17.
The Top 10 runners are guaranteed cash prizes from Milo Philippines.
In the men’s division, Florendeno Lapiz surprised everyone on his first national finals as he landed at fourth place. He crossed the finish line in 2:35:02. It was only the second full marathon race for Lapiz, who is used to racing a shorter distance.
It was an all-Mindanao sweep in the 42K race as Jerald Zaballa won the men’s crown in 2:31:16. Richard Solano finished second in 2:58:49 and Jeson Agravante came third in 2:31:55
Cebuano Prince Joey Lee also made it in the Top 10 as he landed in eighth place with a time of 2:37:49.
The national finals culminated the 2019 Milo Marathon series. These were moved from December to January to give way to the country’s hosting of the 30th SEA Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. (RSC)