Christine Hallasgo emerged queen anew while Anthony Nerza ruled the men’s division in the centerpiece 42-kilometer category of the 43rd Milo Marathon Metro Manila leg on Sunday morning at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds in Pasay City.

Hallasgo, 26, clocked in three hours, six minutes and 28 seconds to successfully defend her crown in Manila.

The female runner from Malaybalay City, Bukidnon pulled away from her rivals right from the firing of the starting pistol en route to beating April Rose Diaz (3:15:05) and Maricar Camacho (3:26:03) in the opening leg of the prestigious marathon.

Hallasgo, a former back-to-back champion in the Milo 21K run in Cagayan De Oro City, was glad her huge sacrifice has paid off.

“I’ve been enduring the pain of missing my family. I’ve exchanged my time to be with them for my training. This has been my priority for now,” said Hallasgo, a wife of a government employee and a mother of one.

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Christine Hallasgo (left) and Anthony Nerza CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Hallasgo registered a time record of 3:05:17 to win the Manila leg in her first full marathon last year.

On the other hand, the 29-year old Nerza tallied a personal-best 2:32:50 to outpace Richeel Languido (2:36:43) and last year’s Manila winner Jeson Agravante (2:38:48).

Nerza, who has been joining the Milo Marathon since 2010, endured a sore feet to capture the title.

“I didn’t expect to win. Earlier, my feet were already feeling heavy but I kept on going to reach the finish line,” said the Digos City-born runner.

The victory was all worth it for Nerza who needed to straddle himself between his duty as an Airman Second Class for the Philippine Air Force and training for the Milo Marathon.

Nerza and Hallasgo bested almost 3,000 runners in the showpiece 42K.

Nearly 30,000 participated in the five categories of the first leg of the 2019 Milo Marathon among them the Run-Jump-Throw Program organized in partnership with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

“We’re very happy with the turnout of the first leg of this 2019 season of the Milo Marathon,” said Milo Sports manager Lester Castillo.

A total of 16,800 runners joined the 5K category; 4,826 in the 3K; 3,133 in the 10K; 1,838 in the 21K; and 1,962 in the 42K.

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The second leg will be held in Lingayen, Pangasinan on August 18.


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