GERALD Sabal continued his family’s winning tradition by emerging as top finisher in the men’s 21K division run of the Lipa City leg of the 37th National Milo Marathon on Sunday.
The younger brother of accomplished runners Cresenciano and Elmer came up with a strong finishing kick to lead 25 other Southern Luzon qualifiers to the National Finals of the annual footrace.
The 27-year-old Sabal crossed the finish line in one hour, 21 minutes and 8 seconds, besting Nelson Eligiran (1:21:11) and Ronilo Moreno (1:26:04).
“I have been running with my brothers for as far as I can remember and they encourage me to push my limits and become the best that I can be,” said Sabal.
Elmer and Gerald placed second and third, respectively, in last year’s 42K Manila elimination, while elder brother Cresenciano is a three-time Milo Marathon winner.
Not to be outdone, Janette Agura also stamped her class in the women’s division, clocking 1:31:38 to hold off Cindy Lorenzo (1:35:13) and Jocelyn Eligiran (1:44:56).
“I will continue to train hard to prepare myself for the National Finals,” said Agura.
Among the top three male and female finishers, only Agura and Lorenzo gained all-expense paid trips for meeting the qualifying time in their respective age groups.
Sabal and Agura each received a cash prize of P10,000 aside from spots in the National Finals on Dec. 8 in Manila. Cedelf P. Tupas