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Filipinos dominate 21K Laguna Phuket run

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BAGUIO CITY — Filipinos on Sunday dominated the Laguna Phuket Marathon in Thailand with 12 of them landing on the top 10 while two of them taking the top podium.

Christine Hallasgo and former Southeast Asian Games marathon queen Christabel Martes finished first and third, respectively, as they towed two other Filipinas who finished in the top 10 in the 21-kilometer run.

Martes is from La Trinidad, Benguet.

The younger Hallasgo topped the women’s side of the run, also ruling the 16-29 years old category. Thai runner Natthaya Thanaronnawat cruised to second place.

Martes who joined the 40 to 49-years-old category and was running with a busted shoelace finished behind the Thai.

Hallasgo is a 25-year-old mother of a baby girl from Malaybalay, Bukidnon, who ruled last year’s 42nd National Milo Marathon Manila while the 40-year old La Trinidad, Benguet born Martes is a four-time Milo Marathon national finals winner and winner of the SEAG marathon in 2001 and 2005.

At fourth is Luisa Raterta, while Jocelyn Elijaran took the seventh spot.

Raterta also finished atop the 30-39 age category, while Elijeran was third in the 40-49 group.

There were 1,961 female runners who joined Sunday’s run.

Top long-distance runner Sandi Menchi Abahan was one of the first to congratulate Martes in her Phuket run. “Congratulations coach Christabel,” wrote Abahan.

“Grabe sa lusong sa lakas ng ulan at hangin (Wow, I had to brave the strong rain and wind),” Martes told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) via Facebook early morning of Monday while traveling back to the city.

In a conversion over messenger, Martes said: “(There) were too many factors that distracted me in the race, two times that my shoelace was busted, that gave the advantage to the Thai runner (Thanaronnawat) to move ahead.”

“At the last two kilometers, sumakit right heel ko, siguro dahil na rin po mas malakas na kayud ko sa kanan sa luwag ng sintas (At the last two kilometers, I was suffering from pain at my right heel, maybe because of my loose right shoe so I had to favor my right foot to compensate),” she added.

The team was also successful in the men’s 21K run as Richard Salano took the top podium while Prince Joey Lee was at close second and Jeorge Andrade finished fourth.