Tabal: A proud product of the Milo Marathon

By: Glendale Rosal October 09,2018 - 10:00 PM

42ND MILO MARATHON PRESSCON/OCT. 9, 2018: Ricky Ballesteros – Cebu Leg Organizer, Joy Tabal – Milo Marathon Queen and Lester Castillo – Milo Sports Executive (from L-R) show the medals and troopy for the winners and finishers of the coming 42nd Milo Marathon during press conference in Cebu Grand Hotel Escario street.(CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

If there’s one advice Mary Joy Tabal can give aspiring runners, it is to dream big.

“I was a dreamer before and I will always be a dreamer,” shared the country’s marathon queen during a press launch for the National Milo Marathon (NMM) Cebu leg on Tuesday at the Cebu Grand Hotel.

Tabal is one of the most successful products of the NMM, winning the national 42-kilometer women’s crown for a record five straight years. She has also gone on to win a gold in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) and has qualified for the Olympics, the first Filipina to do so in women’s marathon.

Her accomplishments make her the marathoner to look up to for aspiring runners. This is why the 29-year-old multi-titled Tabal isn’t holding back in giving the young ones advice.

“For those who just started to dream of becoming a champion, it will not be an easy road to get there. It takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and humility to reach your dreams,” Tabal shared. “I can still remember the first time that I won the first Cebu leg title. It took me three years to win that title. It took me a lot of courage to continue reaching my dreams. I turned my dreams into goals, and goals into reality.”

Tabal was the special guest of the launching of the annual running event slated this Sunday, October 14, starting at the Osmeña Boulevard, fronting the Cebu Normal University Campus. The finish line is set at the Cebu City Sports Center.

She was joined by Cebu leg head organizer Ricky Ballesteros and Milo Sports Executive Lester Castillo.

According to Tabal, the Milo Marathon is the best race to start a dream, saying this is what molded her to become what she is right now. In fact, every time the Milo Marathon season starts every year, she still feels the same excitement she felt the first time she joined nine years ago.

“There’s a whole different feeling every time I am competing in the NMM. There is a different level of excitement. It is like always my first time. Even now, I am still processing the fact that I am called the ‘Marathon Queen.’ I feel like I am still dreaming,” Tabal said. “I am very proud to say that I am a product of Milo Marathon.”

As of this writing, 15,257 runners have already enlisted for this year’s Cebu qualifying race. Winners in the 21k race will qualify for the National Finals on December 9 in Laoag City, Ilocos Sur.

Tabal is aiming to stretch her reign as the Marathon Queen, aiming for a sixth straight National crown. But more than that, she is also aiming to win the title so she could qualify for the SEAG next year. The Milo race is the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association’s (Patafa) qualifier for the SEAG.

Tabal is an automatic qualifer for being the defending women’s champion.

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TAGS: Mary Joy Tabal, milo marathon

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