Ever since Natasha and I got into running we dreamed of joining the iconic Milo Marathon series. We had friends who had run the qualifying races and earned their right to a free marathon in December. That sounded good to us and I attempted to qualify in 2010 but missed out by 19 minutes when I ran 4:08:30.
Luckily we both qualified for the finals in 2011 and 2014. Every marathon gives you a different experience from which to learn.
35th National Milo Marathon – Manila Elimination in 2011
We had never run a marathon in torrential rain until this race, with the weather conditions being extremely wet and windy.
Chad’s 2011 Milo Qualifying Run
With my missed qualifying from 2010 still fresh in my mind I was determined to make it in 2011 and I did with a time of 3:45:27. My average kilometers per week for the 10 weeks prior was 65 kilometers and I had a nice taper the week of the marathon itself. I was hoping to run the whole marathon with my friends that rainy morning (and beat them in the end) but I faded badly at the 28km mark. Despite the strong training I was simply too heavy to carry the extra kilos the entire 42.2km in a good time.
This pictures says it all. I was way too heavy and also lethargic from my inferior nutrition at the time.
Natasha’s 2011 Milo Qualifying Run
It was my first time to run in the Milo Marathon Qualifier and this was to be my 4th race of 42.2km or longer. My goal was to go under the qualifying time for 18 year old at 4:15 hrs. I got a 4:12:49 and while not a personal best at this time I was ecstatic because I qualified for the finals and I passed 58 runners in the last 8km. The qualifying cut off for my age group was 4:30 hrs. I was also grateful to finish because of the soggy conditions I spent a lot of time looking at the ground, but I still stepped into a deep pothole not visible from the surface. At the Milo Finals Carbo Loading Party, I was given a certificate for being the oldest female qualifier under the lowest cut off.
38th National Milo Marathon – Manila Elimination in 2014
The weather conditions were dry, hot and humid. We are now both full-fledged triathletes.
Chad’s 2014 Milo Qualifying Run
This marathon was a revelation to me as I ran my best marathon time in the Philippines with 3:30:02 (beating my Condura marathon of 3:30:38). I did this by averaging just 42km per week for the 10 weeks prior. The difference was that I dropped around 15% body weight compared to 2011 (from around 75 kilos to 63 kilos) thanks to my Primed Lifestyle. I also improved the quality of my training by doing more speed work.
Natasha’s 2014 Milo Qualifying Run
This was my second time to attempt to qualify and training had not been a high priority in the recent months. There was the holiday, and then work, and then more work. My goal was to qualify under the 4:45hr limit for my age group. This should have been easy enough. Been there done that. My time was 4:43:59 which was 1 minute and 1 second within qualifying time and I had to sprint the last stretch. My average km per week for the 10 weeks prior was 22km. I had tight calves and ankles which affected my running form, making me over rotate from the hips. If only I had done more training then I would have gone to the effort of fixing this problem.
Bring on the 2014 finals!
It is no easy task to qualify for the Milo Marathon Finals but definitely an ambition a lot of runners have aspirations on achieving every year. Have you qualified for this years finals? Do you have dreams of running the Milo finals one day? Share with us as we would love to hear your story.