The year 2010 has only but a few weeks more remaining. It is at this time of the year that I do as well end my running activities for the year and what better way to end the year than with the 34th Milo National Marathon Finals.
While there are now other road races that have gained followers and popularity from the local running enthusiasts, Milo Marathon is still by far the most prestigious of all the local road races. The regional eliminations conducted from 17 different areas all over the country are a testament in itself of the magnitude and prestige. Should you win on this event, your name will be etched side by side with the cream of the cream in marathon running for the 34 years it has been held.
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When I arrived Luneta grounds, I more or less sized up the crowd was not as many compared to the elimination based on the parked cars along the streets. It was easier for me to get a parking this time unlike during the eliminations when the parked cars was all the way to Taft Avenue. It was just also about the same time that the 21K runners are being briefed before being gun started. I would estimate that the number within the starting area would not be more than 700.
After the 21k runners were started, the 10k runners were next and as scheduled the 10k was gun started on schedule at 6:00am. The route that was used was along Roxas Boulevard all the way to just before Buendia and back-tracked all the way to the Quirino Grandstand for the finish line. On my return track to Quirino Grandstand just after the Philippine Navy it was then that I noticed a huge crowd who participated on the 5k. Just a few kilometers after at Pedro Gil street, a much greater number of 3k participants were still in the road. These 5k and 3k crowds were mainly from the different schools in Manila. In the end the organizer provided a crowd estimate of 25,000 for all categories 3k/5k/10k/21k/42k.
One thing that is very noticeable in today’s event is that it was much organized and well managed both logistically and control. The organizer had exceeded the norm. I would say that the Milo Marathon Team have made sure that all things were in place to avoid the ugly experience during the elimination. Problem could arise but if corrective measures are done, it gives you a feeling of professionalism and sincerity of Milo in their advocacy in sports development in the country.
I crossed the finish line in an un-official time of 01h04m59s for the 10k. It was a good run to end my road race season for the year 2010.
Veteran Eduardo Buenavista proved he is still the country's top runner while newcomer Flordeliza Donos surprised the field when they ruled the men's and women's category respectively.
While the road races have ended, the usual daily run will continue and maybe even built up more mileage to remove all the guilt feeling of the food, drinks and partying that will be attended from now to the end of the year.
To Milo Marathon Team congratulations and looking forward to next year’s event.