MANILA, Philippines?Two-time champion Eduardo Buenavista returned to the Milo Marathon finals after topping the Baguio leg on Sunday, towing 28 other qualifiers to the national championship late this year.
Buenavista clocked an impressive one hour, 6 minutes and 36 seconds to top all 21K runners. Runners-up Rene Herrera (1:07:42) and Hernani Sore (1:10:21), in Buenavista?s 18-34 age group, also made the finals.
The 31-year-old Buenavista, who holds the local marathon record of 2:18:53 set during the 2007 Metro Manila elimination, did not defend his title last year to concentrate with his Southeast Asian Games preparation. He copped the gold in Laos.
Mercy Taypoc submitted 1:35:35 and was the lone qualifier in the 18-34 female division.
The oldest qualifiers were 60-year-old Benjamin Sebastian Sr. (1:44:21) and 64-year-old Brigilio Balaba (1:50:43).
The 34th Milo Marathon Northern Luzon race lured 7,300 runners. It raised 140 pairs of running shoes which were donated to students of Baguio City National High School, bringing the free-shoe campaign total to 740 pairs.
The next race is slated tomorrow in General Santos City. Romina S. Austria