Local bets halt Kenyan; 14 gain Milo 42K finals
MANILA, Philippines—Local runners relegated a crack Kenyan to third spot as 14 more qualifiers made it to the national finals after the penultimate 21K elimination race of the 35th Milo Marathon in Gen. Santos City on Sunday.
Unheralded Kidapawan runner Gilbert Maluyo clocked one hour, 14 minutes and 48 seconds to rule the men’s division, with Elmer Bartolo duplicating his runner-up finish in the same race last year with a time of 1:14:54.
David Kipsang, a regular in the local running circuit who topped several races last year including the Condura marathon, settled for third in 1:15:11.
Three-time national champion Cresenciano Sabal failed to finish because of a foot injury. He will try to clinch a finals slot in Davao, the last leg of the Milo series, next Sunday.
Rhodah Chepkirui, a 24-year-old Kenyan, ruled the ladies race in 1:27:36, easily besting runner-up Marecil Maquilan (1:32:00) and third-placer April Rose Diaz (1:34:36).
The 30-year-old Maluyo, a machine operator in the city, trailed behind Bartolo and Kipsang until the ninth kilometer.
“I first overtook Kipsang, then caught up with Elmer,” said Maluyo. “It was a very tight race but I hang on to the very end.”
Maluyo said that days before the race, he woke up regularly at 4:30 a.m. to do a long run before going to work.
“I really prepared hard because I knew there would be Kenyan runners,” said Maluyo, who earned an all-expense paid trip to the Dec. 11 national finals, which would start and end at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay.
Completing the top 10 male finishers were Royle Mariano, 1:24:23; Jelbirt Gomera, 1:27:34; Jerome Dela Rosa, 1:27:39; Rodolfo Villanueva, 1:30:38; Paul Andrew Paradela, 1:30:42; Francisco Veroy, 1:31:29; and Diosdado Munar, 1:31:52.
Ladies winner Chepkirui, who has been in the Philippines for the past month, said she achieved victory with ease.
“I was alone in the lead from start to finish,” she said.
More than 400 runners from the previous elimination legs have so far earned slots in the 42K national finals.
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