Ikaw, Anong Hinahabol Mo? (What Are You Running For?): The 36th National Milo Marathon

Remember the times whenever you start with a group and you only know a few people? Usually, one of the first few questions that is being asked is, “Why do you run? (Bakit ka tumatakbo?)” Then for competitive runners, they will fondly ask, “What are you running for? (Ikaw, anong hinahabol mo?)” This is just one of a few ice breakers and runners who are then strangers will share same interests and stories making running a common ground.

And on July 29, the Manila leg of the 36th Milo National Marathon will be held at the Mall of Asia and we will witness once again some of the nation’s best runners as Manila is just one of the 17 key cities in the country to hold the eliminations to vie the PhP300,000 grand prize for the MILO Marathon King and Queen that will happen on December 9. This grand event kicks off on July 1 in Baguio City!

Yesterday, MILO Philippines has invited the media to jumpstart the annual event of the Milo National Marathon. On it’s 36th year, Milo and its organizers are proud to share that they are now a member of the  Association of International Marathons (AIMS) bringing this event to a higher level and making it a world-class marathon. This will not just encourage our local runners to be better but also showcase the Filipino talent to the world.

Milo Sports Executive Andrew Neri, together with race organizer Rio dela Cruz has announced that there will be two (2) categories for the 42k: the open and local.

To support homegrown talent, while also giving a venue for foreign runners to compete, the 36th National MILO Marathon will now have Open and Local categories for the 42.195-K and 21-K races in the Manila Eliminations and National Finals. Both foreign and local participants can compete and win in the Open category. However,in case a local participant finishes in the top 3 of the Open category, the runner waives the right to win the prize in the Local category. Foreigners are eligible to win only in the Manila races. To qualify for the National Finals, foreign runners must provide proof of finish in any AIMS accredited races dating back at least one (1) year before race day or they may qualify in the 42.195-K Manila elimination race. They must have a finish time within the specified age-bracket and time identified for 21-K and 42.195-K races. Official press release from Milo.

Click to download the RULES & REGULATIONS. The file details the prize money and more clarification for the national and provincial legs.

I remembered last year when I joined this event the 2nd time (my first was 2010, having my 2nd 5k). It was my 2nd marathon and to this day, Milo gave me one of the best memories in running: raining for the rest of the race and getting my PR in marathon (Official time: 5:07:22)!

Still my best time in marathon!

I ran with my team mate John and I learned a lot from him as he is a determined runner maintaining a pace while I usually do a run-walk method. Since then, we vowed to be present in this event every year! Milo has become a part of our running calendar and it is a learning experience in running as you see seasoned runners and running enthusiasts in one great event!

This year, Milo has the theme: “Iba’t ibang hinahabol, iisang takbukan.” and so when asked, “Ikaw, anong hinahabol mo?”  I have a definite answer: I run to inspire. Milo has given running shoes to 10,000 kids who excel in sports and academics since then and this year they are aiming to give 14,200 more! This has been the advocacy of Milo.

As mentioned, Milo has given more and more opportunities to local runners.

New venues will also see action, namely Lipa, Angeles and Baguio, giving more runners a chance to take part in the MILO marathon qualifiers.The National MILO marathon starts on July 1 in Baguio, followed by Dagupan (July 8), Tarlac (July 15), Angeles (July 22), Naga (August 19), San Pablo (September 2), Lipa (September 16), Puerto Princesa (September 23), Tagbilaran (September 30), Cebu (October 7), Bacolod (October 4), Ilo-Iloilo (October 28), General Santos (November 4), Davao (November 11), Butuan (November 18) and Cagayan de Oro (November 25).

From L-R: (second from left) Milo Sports executives Bobby De Vera and Andrew Neri, Rio Dela Cruz of the organizing RunRio Inc., Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia and Milo Sports consultant Pat Goc-Ong

So are you already registered? Go to Riovana BGC and Katipunan to register for the Manila leg on July 29! See you! 🙂

The 36th National MILO Marathon is brought to you by Nestle, RunRio, Timex, the Bayview Park Hotel Manila and Reebok, along with partnerships with the Department of Education and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Thanks to Ms. Lexy and Ms. Precious for the invite.