I went to the National Library on the morning of rainy Tuesday but I was not able to get in those research halls/rooms after I lacked the necessay requirements. Anybody who would visit and make a research in the National Library should have a valid Identification Card, one (1) ID Photo, and Fifty Pesos (P 50.00). A Cashier in the Library needs to confirm your Identity through your ID Card and then receives your Fifty Pesos. In return, the Cashier gives you a blank Library Card and an Official Receipt of the money you gave. You should paste your ID Photo to the blank Library Card and write your name on the said card.
Then, proceed to one of the desktop computers in the lobby and register your Library Card Number, Name, Password, Address, and E-mail address and then click Save. Your Library Card Number which is printed on the back of your Library Card is your Username. From here, you can now proceed to the research areas located at the 2nd-4th Floor of the building. The whole building is not air-conditioned and be prepared to sit yourself where wall electric fans are located.
First, I used the computer to track down if there are any books or publications about local Athletics and Running in the Directory of the National Libray. The result? None!!!
Second option was to find out the old newspapers in the Directory. I was surprised that I was made to proceed to the 4th Floor of the building and I was able to see the sorry/sad state of those book-bound newspapers stacked on open racks and cabinets. Most of them are dusty and not properly arranged by months and years. I thought I would be looking on “microforms” or “microfiches” of newspapers but I was actually reading the actual old copy of newspapers bound by month.
After looking on the different rows of newspaper racks for about 30 minutes, I came upon book-bound copies of “Sports News” which is a weekly broadsheet newspaper on Sports and the following were my discoveries:
1) There was an annual event called “YMCA Walkathon Race Event” which was well-attended by almost 300 walkers and had a Cash Prize of P 200.00 for the winner/champion. In my mind, I recalled a regular group of walkers called “United Nations Walkers Club”.
2) The first provincial annual marathon race was called Negros Marathon which was held in Negros Occidental as sponsored by Governor Roberto Benedicto. It was organized by Monico Puentebella (who is now a Congressman). The most popular runners team in Negros Island was headed by Art Valdez (brother of singer-runner Leo Valdez) and it was called BM-AMC.
But what gave my full attention during my research was the news coverage of the 2nd MILO Marathon and its elimination race and I have the following information based from the news accounts of “Sports News”:
1) The first MILO Marathon was held in 1974 and the first Champion was Numeriano Titong, a golf caddy. I heard that he is still a golf caddy at the Valley Golf & Country Club.
2) The 2nd MILO Marathon Race Elimination Race was held on November 9, 1975 with the participants coming from all over the country. Registration was made and submitted in the local branches of Manila Bank with the following requirements:
a) Runner should be an amateur.
b) Must not be less than 19 years old.
c) Must be able to submit Medical Certificate from any Physician
d) Submit One (1) Passport size or ID Photo attached to the Registration Form
e) Registration Fee: Two Pesos Only (P 2.00)
The Elimination Race is a 20-kilometer road race that starts at 12:00 Noon along Gen. Aguinaldo Street, infront of the Fiesta Carnival, Cubao, Quezon City and finishes at Luneta Park. The first thirty (30) finishers in this race are qualified to participate in the 2nd MILO Marathon Final Run.
The Marathon Finals is held the next Sunday after the Elimination Race. The Finals starts and ends at the Luneta Park. It starts at 12 Noon from Luneta Park-towards Quiapo-Espana-Quezon Boulevard-turn right at EDSA-towards Cubao-right at Aurora Blvd-Magsaysay Blvd-Legarda-back to Luneta Park.
The Marathon Finals top prize for the Champion is a chance to compete in the Boston Marathon if the finish time is 2:30 hours or less. No Cash Prizes were given to the winners that time.
The Race Organizer was Jun Castro of Intergames Inc. The race was also sponsored by PATAFA.
In the 2nd MILO Finals, Victor Idava, 20 years old & farmer’s son from Bicol and a national record holder then in 1,500 & 5,000-meter runs, won First Place/Champion with a time of 2:54:35 hours. He did not qualify the 2:30 hour or less finish time but MILO sent him to participate in the 1976 Boston Marathon. Out of the 30 qualifiers who started the race, 16 finished the race.
The following were the results of the 2nd MILO Run:
2nd Place—Jose De Vera—2:56:13 hours
3rd Place—Finishterio Lim—3:00:00 hours
4th Place—Numeriano Titong—3:01:58 hours
I am going back to the National Library soon! I will try to find out information about the Pilipinas International Marathon, PAL Manila International Marathon, and the Alay Sa Pangulo Marathon Race.
Did you know that there were two famous Race Organizers then in the persons of Mr Jose “Jun” Castro, Jr and Minister Elpidio Doroteo of MYSD?
Did you know that there was a National Corporate Competition in Long Distance Running Event where every government and/or corporate offices’ running teams would compete? The winners were sent to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California for the International Corporate Athletics Competition.
By the way, I was a new graduate from the Philippine Military Academy and I was then fighting it out with the MNLF in Maguindanao-Cotabato as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Philippine Army and a Platoon Leader when the 2nd MILO Run was held in Manila.
(Note: Newspaper Pictures Taken From “Sports News”)