Ramil Neri of Malaybalay, Bukidnon and Judelyn Miranda of Compostela Valley scored breakthrough victories yesterday in the 32nd National Milo Marathon 21-kilometer elimination race in Butuan City.
After finishing only seventh in the Iligan City leg last year, Neri outsprinted last year's Cebu leg champion Mendel Lopez and Jesse Geraldez down the wire to claim his first leg title in one hour, 17 minutes and 53 seconds.
"Magkadikit lang kami niyan (Lopez) sa buong race, dito ko lang siya naiwan sa may finish line na," the 20-year-old Neri said.
Lopez was within striking distance and finished 1:18.14 for second place, while Geraldez came in 10 seconds later to finish third.
Former leg winners Jonard Comonong and Reynante Villarma failed to earn tickets back to the national finals as they settled only for 7th and 8th places, respectively.
Miranda, meanwhile, topped the distaff side in 1:32.31. She placed second …