June 29, 2009

Sea of Green: The 33rd Milo Marathon

The milo metro manila eliminations is just a few days away. The 33rd edition of this longest running footrace in the philippines will again start at the famous kilometer zero in the city of manila showcasing the nationwide search for the country's top long distance runners with a simultaneous leg in cebu city.

Once again thousand of stories will be created and shared and history will be revealed. Together with other individuals, my story was shared during the 32nd edition. Come July 5th, different stories will be happily created and shared once again while old ones will be vividly cherished. Not even the incessant rains will dampen the strong marathon spirit shared by everyone as newbies, fitness buffs and hardcore runners as they run and finish their races.

I came here again to participate in this race with full of enthusiasm and excitement after 1,140km of quality training runs since the start of the year. I gained a lot of confidence from my continuous research, reading and mental preparation. Although my biorhythm shows an imbalance from its chart, I'm still up-beat and expecting to do my best. This is a qualifying race after all, and I am running against time, one good performance here and I'll be running with the elite again.

To all those newbies who will be running this year's elimination, here are some points of view from the 32nd edition just to give you a glimpse of what to expect from the race.

1. The start gun will fire minutes before the stipulated time, make sure to be at the venue at least an hour before the race to give yourself enough room to park your vehicle, stretch and get warmed-up and meet-up with your friends.
2. Prepare your speedo, rain in drizzle or downpour, is an occurrence here at the milo marathon race, be it at the starting line or on the race proper, get ready to get wet.
3. Position yourself at the starting line comfortably based on your preferred race pace. In the 10km and 5km event, thousand of students will be participating, it's better to enter the corral earlier, if you happen to be at the tail end, you're dead.
5. It's still dark at the onset of the full marathon, it is advisable to run easy on the first kilometers until after the two fly-overs. Last year's elimination race took the right side lane of buendia avenue while the finals was at the left side of buendia avenue. Make the necessary adjustment if you're planning to have a support vehicle.
6. Run comfortably and enjoy the course and do not forget your goal. I usually go with three goals in mind. If the first is not achieved, I have two left.

6. Celebrate at the finish line. Be proud, take your medal and certificate after crossing the tape and get yourself a photo to document the hardship you went thru. Believe me, at least 10 years will be added up to your age. But don't forget to smile, because you won the race.
7. Congratulate every participant who finished the race, this will help you relax from the grueling run. Walk for about 30mins as you recall your run and continuously rehydrate yourself.
8. Don't forget to queue at the free milo drink at the finish line. This is how to celebrate the milo way, and here floods the best milo drink ever. Your run would be incomplete if you haven't got one.
9. Eat and replenish at least 30mins after finishing.
10. Stretch afterwards.

11. Stay for a while and enjoy the celebration at the finish line. There are still friends along the way expecting you to be at the finish line. Your mere presence will add cheers on their faces as soon as you welcome them in the chute. Leaving the place early will be an opportunity of missing good memories.
12. Go to the recovery area and avail of their services. Your body deserves a good pampering from excessive pounding it took along the way.
13. Check your finish time at the officials booth. If you finished at the 03h59m to 04h00m, you must verify it immediately with the race officials. Every second counts here.
14. Contemplate whether you will be back again in the finals edition. A yes, means you'll be training again after a couple of weeks. But you should be, you're a qualifier.

15. Run the milo marathon finals sometime in october and get your well deserved second medal.

Related stories here:

Milo marathon trivia:

A total 767 runners answered the staring gun of the very first milo marathon on may 26, 1974. Only 200 crossed the finish line.

Numeriano Titong, a golf caddy became the first milo marathon champion. He clocked a slow 03h04m10s, not bad for a first championship. 31 years later he ran again in the 29th milo marathon in 2005.

Victor Idava was the first milo marathon king to join the famous boston marathon. In the 1976 boston marathon, he checked in 304th out of 2,183 entries. That same year, he established another mark in local running by setting the philippine marathon record of 02h38m23s and placed 76th in the 1976 olympics in montreal, canada.

In 1981, Jimmy Dela Torre, became the youngest milo marathon champion at 18 years old.

Wilfredo Ballester grabbed the spotlight from Jimmy Dela Torre in the 12th milo marathon in 1985. He won again in 1990 and 1991, making him the first runner to win the milo marathon three times in arow.

In the years 1987 to 1989 the milo marathon was not staged as nestle saw a need to reorganize and was back in 1990. The new and improved milo marathon was officially dubbed the 14th edition.

Roy Vence, an athlete from cebu became a sensation when he scored back-to-back championships during the 17th and 18th milo marathons. In the 19th leg, he had to give way to the national interest as he went into full preparation for the 1995 sea games in chiang mai, thailand. He made a comeback and won in the 20th milo marathon. He proved to be unbeatable in the 22nd and the 23rd editions. He brought home the most milo marathon trophies in the men's division with a total of six championships.

The women's division of the milo marathon started in 1992, with Arsenia Sagaray becoming the first female milo marathon champion. She went on to win the most milo marathon trophies among women runners with five championships.

Cristabel Martes, a 21-year old athlete from Baguio, became the youngest women's champion in 1999 during the 23rd milo marathon. She also won 3 milo trophies from 1999 to 2001.

Jho-an Banayag Holds the women's fastest running time when she clocked in 02h48m16s during the 30th national milo marathon.

In 2007, Eduardo Buenavista clocked in 02h18m53s during the metro manila eliminations breaking the fastest running record of 02h21m33s set by Cresenciano Sabal in 2005.

source: manila bulletin


  1. Vener, thanks for the recap, info and tips. Wishing you all the best. Run strong for all of us :-)

  2. Hi Vener. It's great that you shared your experiences from last year as well as the photos. Seeing the photo with you, the famous grandstand in the background, the smile, the medal and the certificate will be something to remember forever! Most important, I'm happy for everyone in the Phils that this race has continued for 33 years. A lot of worldwide races come and go but the Milo Marathon has continued to the present day.

    While I'm celebrating our Independence Day here in the U.S. on Saturday evening, I'll be checking Pinoy blogs to find out what's happening. Good luck to you and all the marathoners on Sunday. Have fun and enjoy!

  3. great tips from a successful milo marathoner! i'm sure they'd be useful on race day!

  4. thanks sir vener! will do these on sunday, my 1st 21k in my 1st milo event. i wish you all the best on your milo marathon run!

  5. Thanks for the tips, Vener. I'll use that sa 21k race on July 19.

    I hope you'll have a great race & achieve your goal time.

    Btw, we met at Amoranto last May. Nice meeting you.


  6. Thanks for the tips Vener and good luck on Sunday!

  7. Rico - No problem to that, I hope it would help you on your maiden full. Kita kits.

    Wayne - Thanks, this is by far the longest running race in the country, literally. Many consider it as the boston marathon of the philippines. Moreover, nestle phils. is making sure that every race is an upgrade of the previous one.

    Wilson - Thanks for the kind words and the visit. I hope to bump with you soon.

    Jet - Thanks and good luck on your inaugural half. Enjoy the experience and share the excitement with everybody on the road. I'll see you there.

    Grey - Good luck on your milo21km. I hope my post will bring you to your goal, just stick with it. I haven't seen you nowadays at the amoranto, hope to see you on the race. If you happened to see me, please let me know.

  8. thanks for the tips & trivia! this will be my 1st full marathon.

    i grew up in baclaran near redemptorist church, and in the early 80's milo marathon is the only race i remember that i would watch from the sidewalks of dewey blvd (roxas blvd). and now i'm being part of it. hopefully makita ko mga kababata ko sa baclaran on sunday.

    see you sa race, vener!

  9. Hi Vener! Thanks for the tips. Good luck! I'm sure you'll do well. :) See you on Sunday! (I'll be running my second half-marathon.)


  10. Hail Run Unltd.!

    Interesting and very helpful tips. Thank you for sharing your insights on the actual marathon that WE will be joining. The information will prove helpful to us who are new to the sport.

    Run Strong and Prosper!

  11. mar aka pojie here, vener. here's my email add: marmarilag@yahoo.com

  12. yup, i saw your pic there! run bug again... will pass milo for now :(

  13. I know who to talk to for advise once I decided to join Milo elimination race. Good luck!

  14. Dindo - Thanks and good luck too, we can make it. See you at the race.

    Rod - Your story is one of a kind, I hope it would be revealed this sunday. More surprises await us at the finish line, see you there and good luck.

    Eric - Thanks and good luck on your 21km. Run strong, finish fierce. See you there.

    The Collective - Thanks, I hope it would help you in a way. Some of my first timer friends are bringing their support that's why I asked YOU if you'll be having one too. More on this story soon. RSAP, good luck, friend.

    Mar - Got it. See you again.

    Jerry - You'll be missed again at the race. What kept you busy? I'll see you again, pare.

    Jon - Thanks. Maybe it would take time for me to run again with you like our maiden Int'l. Phil. Marathon. You're going farther and farther now and your credentials are getting tough. Congratulations once again for a tremendous finish at the botak100. Mabuhay ka!

  15. This is the moment we've been waiting for. Thanks for the tips sir! Will definitely help me on my battle come Sunday.

  16. Thank you. I just hope I am faster like you. My best wishes buddy.

  17. Sam - Good luck.

    Anonymous - Thanks buddy.

  18. Hey Vener, Congratulations! We're glad you guys made it to the finals!!!


  19. congratulations! iba ka talaga!

  20. Argo - Thanks, congratulations too on your milo21. See you again.

    Raymund - Thank you. Congratulations too on your milo21. Good to see you again at the race.

  21. You are one of the runners I admire -- you and Cristy -- Congratulations, Marathoner!

    Wow, one soon for Cristy! As for me will have to wait for next year. :D

  22. Thanks Roselle. Good luck on your future marathon, I'm looking forward to it. Let's run.

  23. I really missed this event. though i cannot participate because i am out of the country, i wish this event will continue and if i will be home, i will participate this event. I love running too! I am Rodolfo Radam and maybe some runners recognize me because i have a lot of friends who is still running for this event. God bless everybody.

  24. Hi Rod, thanks for visiting this blog. Milo is indeed the most anticipated race here, I hope you could join this event in the near future. Regards to you.