Last year's national silver medalist Martes secures Milo Marathon finals return by winning Urdaneta leg

Christabel Martes
By Ivan Saldajeno

LOS BANOS--Christabel Martes will make a return to the national finals of the Milo Marathon after ruling the first race of the new season in Urdaneta on Sunday.

Despite not playing 100 percent unlike her previous conquest of the said race last year, Martes still reigned in the women's category by a landslide, finishing the half-marathon course at a time of 1:31:25, nearly nine minutes faster than second placer Rowena Valdez (1:40:19). Jocelyn Elijeran took the bronze at the time of 1:46:53.

“I only had minimal training because I got an injury prior to this. Because of that, the race was extra challenging for me,” said Martes, runner-up to Mary Joy Tabal in last year's national finals in Cebu City. “I persevered and kept my own pace. I am very pleased that I still managed to claim the top prize.”

Meanwhile, Kurt Lamparas beat Cesar Castaneto in a toss-up down the stretch for the men's division gold.

Lamparas crossed the finish line in 1:14:26, five seconds faster than that of second placer Castaneto (1:14:31). Robeno Javier came in third at a time of 1:16:48.

It was a breakthrough for the Arellano athletics team member, who raced in the Milo Marathon for the first time.

“I incurred blisters when I was at the 10K mark, which made it hard for me to continue because the pain was getting worse as I went on. But I was determined to push through and ran along with the other runners I was with,” Lamparas said.

Almost 13,000 runners attended the Urdaneta race, and a larger number of runners are expected to grace the next stop of the Milo Marathon season, the Metro Manila leg on July 29.

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