VIENTIANE Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Jho-An Banayag's stint in the 34th National Milo Marathon-Davao City Eliminations on August 29 will raise the level of competition for the centerpiece women's 21-K event.

Leg coordinator Kenneth Sai told Sun.Star Davao that Banayag is still the only rated marathoner in the field so far since highly-touted Joselito Dugos and Monalisa Ambasa will be seeing action in another leg since their tight schedule won't allow them to participate in the Davao leg.

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Regular campaigner Reynante Villarama, a 10K third placer in the just-concluded HGS Run for Healthy Living, signed up in the men's 21K category.

"Some 8,000 runners have registered so far but we expect to hit 14,000 this year to surpass the 12,000 turnout last year. We will accommodate registrants until August 21 only," Sai said.

He bared that Daniel Aguinaldo National High School, Sta. Ana National High School, University of Southeastern Philippines, F. Bangoy National High School, MATS Colleges, Ateneo de Davao University, Joji Ilagan, Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai, Holy Cross of Davao College, Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Elementary School, Magallanes Elementary School, Stella Maris Academy of Davao, Davao Central High School, University of Mindanao, AMA Computer Learning Center and Emar Learning Center submitted their entries already.

Companies like Marco Polo Hotel, Apo View Hotel, Asia Glass, RCBC, East West Bank, Allied Bank, One Network Bank, Metrobank, Banco Filipino, BPI, Park & Shop and NCCC along with Philhealth XI, Phil. National Police, Phil. Army, Digos City Joggers Club, Tagum City Runners, Vincent Heights Joggers Club, DATRUN and Sun City Runners are also entered.

The event, dubbed "Championing Dreams with Every Step," also features the men's and women's 5K and 3K kiddie categories. Side events are biggest school delegation, inter-school running competition and the cheer dance competition.

Registration is ongoing at 2nd floor, Tamayo Bldg., Lapu-Lapu Ave, Agdao (beside Banco Filipino) and at Run Club in Barrio Obrero.

Entry Fees are P50 for 3K and 5K, P500 for 10K and P500 for 21K half marathon. Interested participants must bring an empty Milo 300 grams pack upon registration.

Two hundred students from Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Elementary School, meanwhile, will run with new pair of shoes when the 34th National Milo Marathon-Davao City eliminations hit the road on August 29 in an out-and-back course at Roxas Avenue. (MLSA)