Tabal ends 2-month break in 7-Eleven marathon today
Cebuana running phenom Mary Joy Tabal ends more than two months of a self-imposed hiatus from racing when she laces up her running shoes today to compete in the 21-kilometer event of the 7-Eleven Run 2018 starting at the Cebu Business Park.
Tabal took time off from competitive running right after winning her record fifth straight women’s crown in the 41st National Milo Marathon Grand Finals last December 3 in Cebu City.
Her five-peat victory was like a scene straight from a dramatic movie because she crossed the finish line in tears. Her father Rolando passed away less than 24 hours from gun start.
Four months earlier, Tabal also grabbed the sports headlines when she won the country’s first gold medal in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The petite marathoner, who is the first Filipina to compete in Olympic marathon, is installed the prohibitive favorite today.
“It’s actually a last minute decision to join this race,” Tabal told Cebu Daily News. “For me, this is just part of my training and a way to test my fitness after a long rest. After the Milo Marathon, I took a month-long rest. This is also my way to overcome that tragic event last December when Papa passed away.”
Tabal squeezed in the 7-Eleven Run 2018 to her hectic schedule. She is busy processing her visa to be able to return to Tuscany, Italy where she trains. She revealed that she might be joining the Jinju Marathon in Korea which was part of her prize for topping the Milo Marathon Grand Finals.
Tabal will join around 6,500 runners in today’s 7-Eleven Run which has a 42k, 21k, 16km, 10km, 5km, 5km buddy, and 500-meter (Kids Run) categories. The race, which offers more than P100,000 in cash prizes, will simultaneously kick off in Metro Manila and Davao City at 4 a.m.
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