As expected, the top bets secured slots to the National Finals as the 17 regional qualifying legs of the 35th National Milo Marathon came to a close Sunday, Nov.6, in Davao City.
Brian Lupio came more prepared and went on to outrace three-time national champion Cresenciano Sabal to pocket the P10,000 top purse in the final 17th leg at the Jacinto Ave.
Sisters Cynthia Jaro and Criselyn Jaro made a 1-2 finish with a clocking of 1:31:48 and 1:32:47, respectively, to dominate the women’s category.
The 23-year-old Lupio of Baguio district, Davao City, fell behind early but made his move in the last seven kilometers to prevail.
His victory was doubly significant as he set a personal best time of 1:13:33.
Anthony Nerza finished second in 1:14:30 while Sabal wound up third in 1:17:26. “Going into the race, I was wary of the competition because I heard that I will be running against Sabal and Nerza who are both strong runners, so I really made an effort to prepare,” said Lupio, who won his second Milo regional title despite blistered feet and loose shoelaces.
Lupio was referring to 22-year-old Nerza of Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur who was 2010 National Finals 4th placer and 33-year-old Sabal, the national titlist in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Sabal had his own predicament when he failed to finish the Gen. Santos City leg last week due to leg pains, but recovered in time to join the last elimination race just to fulfill his dream of a fourth national crown.
In the distaff side, 20-year-old Cynthia Jaro of Toril, Davao City and her sister Criselyn made the age group qualifier cut-off with 21 others. [PR]