The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1


Table of Contents

Mary Joy Tabal – Biography

Mary Joy Tabal

Mary Joy Tabal won the first gold medal for the Philippines in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in the women’s marathon on Saturday morning in this city south of Kuala Lumpur. (photo by Ali vicoy)


Mary Joy Tabal Performance Profile:

  • Half Marathon: 1:16.28 (National Record)
  • Marathon: 2:43.31 (National Record)
    Mary Joy Tabal
    Mary Joy Tabal


Mary Joy Tabal Achievements to Date:

  • PNG Champion 2013 5000m
  • 6x Milo Marathon Champion 2013-2018
  • SEA Games Silver 2015 Marathon
  • Olympian 2016 Marathon
  • National Record Holder Half and Full Marathon
  • SEA Games Gold 2017 Marathon
  • SEA Games Silver 2019 Marathon
  • Events: Marathon


Mary Joy Tabal
Mary Joy Tabal


Sino Si Mary Joy Tabal

Mary Joy Tabal from the island of Cebu. From a poor mountain family. Mary Joy Tabal used her road running earnings to pay her siblings through school.

At college, she was only an average 59-second 400m runner. But, her life would change forever when Triathlete Philip Duenas approached her to move up to the Marathon.

Such a big jump came as a shock early on for Mary Joy Tabal, who collapsed in her first 10,000m race.

Two years later, she burst onto the Milo Marathon Champion scene in 2013, dethroning then back-to-back Milo Champion Mary Grace Delos Santos. Mary Joy Tabal went on win 2014, 2015, 2016 editions.

Making it four in a row. At the 2015 SEA Games, Mary Joy Tabal took the silver in tough wet conditions. In 2016 she broke the famous national Philippine Record of two Time SEA Games Champion, the legendary Christabel Martes.

In the process, she qualified for the Rio Olympic Games and became the First woman from the Philippines to participate in the Olympic Games.

Moto race largely helped her, she was able to train in Japan and then Italy, with her sponsors’ help.

Mary Joy Tabal and Philip Duenas also give back to the sport by providing a grass-roots program that assists kids similar to joy from low-income families around Cebu.



DECEMBER 20, 2020

Once, the country’s marathon queen, Mary Joy Tabal, is now doubtful of her chances of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The 31-year-old long-distance specialist from Cebu said making it to the Summer Games seems impossible as all races that offer ranking points have been moved to the last quarter of 2021 due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tabal used to be the country’s brightest gem in a road battle.

She ruled the Milo marathon’s national finals for four straight years from 2013 to 2018 before seeing action in the prestigious Boston Marathon, where she finished a respectable 20th.

Then, she pulled off a shocker after clocking two hours and 43:29 in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon to punch a ticket to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, formally crowning herself as the country’s best long-distance runner.

Although she lost the gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to Christine Hallasgo, sideliners still consider her a strong force with enough training and international exposure.

But the pandemic shattered her plans.

With no training and competition, Tabal had no choice but to accept the possibility of missing her return flight to the Olympics.

“It’s really impossible now,” the petite runner told Daily Tribune in a telephone conversation.

“The only chance I could make it to the Olympics is by increasing my ranking. But I couldn’t do it because this pandemic postponed all competitions I was supposed to join.”

The Olympic qualifying mark for the women’s marathon is set at 2:29:30.

On the other hand, Tabal’s personal best is set at 2:43:29, more than 10 minutes short of advancing to the Summer Games.

But she is not alone.

Hallasgo also admitted that she had reached the end of her road to the Olympics in a previous statement.

She said she struggles to develop a solid training program after the track oval in her province in Bukidnon had been shut down due to the pandemic.

“I do not have proper training and, also, there is a rise of Covid cases in our place so it’s really hard to train under these circumstances,” Hallasgo, who got stranded in her dorm inside the Philsports compound for few months, said.

“I am not saying that it’s impossible to compete in the Olympics, but given this situation, I am getting doubtful.”

Still, the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) refuses to raise the white flag on Hallasgo’s chances.

PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico said he would be sending Hallasgo to the Taipei Marathon in March in a bid to snatch an Olympic berth.

“We will try our very best,” Juico said, adding that his athletes should go full blast in their training by January.

Meanwhile, Tabal said with the Olympics no longer on her radar, she would just shift her focus on regaining her lost throne when Vietnam hosts the SEA Games in November.

“Now, my focus is on the SEA Games,” she said.

“I really want to regain the gold medal there.”

Regarding Juico’s statement and belief in Hallasgo qualifying

I think we need to look clearly at the Facts when it comes to bonus slots.

There are 80 slots for the Olympics. And as of December 20, 2020, 75 of those slots are taken already by athletes who have already run below the 2h29.30 qualifying standard. 

From December 1 to 20, 9 new athletes ran under 2h29.30 from around the world. The qualifying is until June 29, 2020.

So the only way to qualify for the Women’s Marathon in the Olympics is by hitting the 2h29.30 bonus slots are only available if the 80 slots are not all filled, which they surely will be.


Tabby Joins the Military

DON’T be surprised if you see a champion marathoner staffing the deck of a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ship patrolling the country’s waters.

Rio Olympian Mary Joy Tabal was pinned with a Lieutenant Commander of the PCG Auxiliary (PCGA) on her shoulders in solemn ceremonies at the Cebu Parklane International Hotel in Cebu on Thursday.

“I will be working as Operations Officer, but the official announcement of our assignment will be on  December 5,” said Mary Joy Tabal, 31, winner of the women’s marathon gold medal at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games. “They [PCGA] just accepted me officially in advance.”

PCGA Commander Chester Sumalinog inducted  Mary Joy Tabal as the highest-ranked Auxiliarist in her batch. The PCGA primarily supports the PCG in the conduct of its functions. It is a volunteer organization.

Tabal said joining the PCGA was a calling.

“I never expected myself to join the PCGA, but I knew that to grow, I have to serve the country,” she said. “I also want to constantly inspire others to emulate any act of patriotism and service to our country.”

“I want to continue to challenge myself, never to stop learning and to be able to embody the values that sports have taught me inside and outside the sports field,” she added.

Tabal underwent training to achieve her rank.

“The training wasn’t that hard—one whole day of indoctrination,  orientation, and basic Coast Guard protocols, marching, salute, and how do we work and partner with PCG,” she said.

The military service is no alien to Mary Joy Tabal.

Her longtime partner, Hector Dan Jimenez, is a lieutenant junior grade at the Philippine Navy.

At the same time, her late father, Rolando Tabal,  served in the Philippine Constabulary and the Philippine National Police.

“As a child, I grew up admiring men in uniform. People who serve the country, putting their lives in danger to maintain peace and safety,” Tabal said. I saw how the service molded my Papa Lando to be a responsible father us.”


Mary Joy Tabal
Mary Joy Tabal

Mary Joy Tabal

Mary Joy Tabal goes into the SEA Games as a strong contender; her main challenge will come from the young girl from Vietnam who took bronze last SEA Games.

Who has ran 2:45 vs. Tabal 2:43? Unfortunately, Olympian Jane Vongvoratchoti of Thailand, who has a PB of 2:40, will not be joining.

Mary Joy Tabal  Marathon 2h43.31 Scotia Bank, Ottawa, Canada Phi Record Olympic Qualifier

Mary Joy Tabal
Mary Joy Tabal

Tabby Selling Muffins (July 2020)

2020 Unlucky Mary Joy Tabal eyes Ottawa

Mary Joy Tabal is eyeing to suit up in the 2020 Ottawa Marathon. Her last shot for qualifying in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics After three international races were canceled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The Hong Kong Marathon, Seoul Marathon, and Tokyo Marathons. All major qualifying races for the Summer Games were affected by the virus in Wuhan, China. Leaving Mary Joy Tabal with only one race left—the Ottawa Marathon in May.

“I’m still thinking of joining this race. Right now my chances of qualifying are very low,” the 2016 Rio Olympian told SunStar Cebu.

Full Article Here

Mary Joy Tabal is left with only one race to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

By: Mars G. Alison – CDN Digital Correspondent|February 25,2020 – 03:30 PM
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Philippines ‘ first Filipino female long-distance runner in the Olympics, Mary Joy Tabal of Cebu, is left with only one race to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This after she was informed on Tuesday morning, Feb. 25, 2020. Her third race prospect for qualifying, the 2020 Seoul Marathon, has also canceled its international elite division. Due to the huge outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in South Korea.

Full Article Here

Mary Joy Tabal loses the chance to compete abroad.

Feb 23, 2020

CEBUANA marathoner Mary Joy Tabal was hit with a huge blow after two of her races abroad got canceled due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.

The 30-year-old runner was supposed to join the Standard Chartered Marathon in Hongkong and the 2020 Tokyo Marathon to earn enough points for the Tokyo Olympics.


Tabby running out of Time

Feb 9, 2020

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Mary Joy Tabal chances of qualifying for this July’s 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, are running out.

Two of the international races she was planning to join to earn points to rack up her world rankings and qualify for the Olympics were canceled.

The Hong Kong Standard Chartered, which was supposed to happen last February 9, was canceled by the organizers due to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Also, Mary Joy Tabal, the country’s first female long-distance runner in the Olympics, will no longer be joining the Tokyo Marathon, which is one of the six major world marathons slated for March 1, because Asics, one of her major sponsors, is canceling their participation due to the increasing number of people in Japan infected with the COVID-19.

Asics Pulls Mary Joy Tabal out of Tokyo Marathon

Although the Tokyo Marathon organizers have not canceled the race entirely, Asics has decided not to send their athletes to the event.

“We believe that the health of our athletes and guests are much important and will not take the risk of sending everyone at this moment since there is a rising number of affected NCOV in the region,” stated a missive that Tabal received from Asics.

“There are only a few good races or accredited races here in Asia that will fall on the 1st and 2nd quarter of the year. The next problem is to look for races outside Asia but aside from asking them to let you have free entry, you will need to process a visa before you can book tickets,” said Tabal.

Hong Kong runs a Gold label race while the Tokyo Marathon is one of the six major world marathons, and both would have given her points to pad her Olympic chances before she competes again in Canada.

“Yes, to earn points from these accredited races to increase my world ranking because the 2:29.30 qualifying time is suicidal,” said Tabal.

Relying on Points

Aside from getting the qualifying time set for the Tokyo Olympics, other ways to qualify are to finish in the top 10 in world major marathons or top 5 among Gold Label marathons.

The third option is through the world rankings, wherein a runner has to run more accredited marathons or half marathons to earn points and climb up the world rankings.

Mary Joy Tabal currently holds the Philippine record for both full and half marathons.

For the full marathon, she holds the time of two hours, 43 minutes, and 31 seconds (2:43:31), which she clocked in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon back in 2016, which qualified her for her first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

For the half marathon, she has a time of 1:16:28, which she set in the 2017 edition of the Scotia Bank Ottawa Half Marathon in Canada.

Known for her resiliency, Mary Joy Tabal is not about to give up on her Tokyo Olympics 2020 dream.

“I am doing all the best to look for these accredited races and have to send emails on my own, waiting for them to accept me last minute,” said Tabal. She added that “I will take any opportunity coming, thus my training continues.”

Read more:


Mary Joy Tabal

By Dennis Scott

FOR ALL PHILIPPINE RUNNERS: Please know that they make it tough to qualify for the Olympics, considering there were 235 women who ran the 2:29:30 qualifying standard in 2019, and there may be even more running within that time in the first part of 2020.

Our Philippine women’s record of 2:43:31 would only be good enough for a #902 world ranking for 2019.

World Athletics (formerly the IAAF) only shows 2 listings for the Philippines for 2019:

Anthony Nerza’s 2:32:50 was good enough for #3,604 in the world marathon rankings (results score of 789) that limit ranking times up to a max of 2:35.

The other is for Mary Joy Tabal 2:49:57, good for a #1,349 ranking (results score of 945) if limits to 3:00:00.

For the half marathon, men must run 1:11:00 or faster to be world ranked. Women must run at 1:24:00 or faster.

This all shows that we need to do more here in the Philippines to develop quality distance runners that can compete at the elite levels on the world stage. So praying for more government, LGU, corporate, and individual support at all levels from high school, university, and beyond and that some miracle lets Joy find her way to Tokyo.


Pinoyathletics Response to Mary Joy Tabal situation

Are Men Marathoners have not got any medal at SEA Games level since 2013. 2015, 2017 athletes DNF 2019 5th and 6th place. The Olympics are really quite wishful thinking.

If Mary Joy Tabal is not going to qualify, Christine Hallasgo will certainly not qualify as I’m not sure what effort is being made to find her races, which are difficult to find; her PB is 2h52.

Despite PATAFA forwarding Hallasgo as a very likely candidate, did they actually look that the standard was 2h29.30?? Good research Dennis and nice stats on your part, though well thought out. 

The Olympic cut-off is June 26 for qualification; after that, it’s pens and papers down and passes your notes to the front of the class.

At least Inquirer got this right with Phi Records in Marathon and Half Marathon. Unfortunately, several Philippine main newspapers get their facts wrong by quoting Christabel Martes 2h38 as the Phi Record. I have already checked with Asian athletics, who quoted the course as undersized or not measured by IAAF officials correctly, hence invalidating the mark.



Mary Joy Tabal eyes Tokyo spot via Tokyo 42K.

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 6

CEBU’S top marathoner Mary Joy Tabal gets ready for another international competition as she laces it up in the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, a qualifying race for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Tokyo Marathon is set for March 1, 2020. Unfortunately, Mary Joy Tabal will leave for Japan a week before the marathon. In contrast, The Tokyo Marathon will gauge Tabal’s healing progress after suffering from Iliotibial band syndrome.

“I’ll be careful with my injury because it’s not yet 100 percent. This coming run will evaluate my fitness and how far I have recovered,” she said.

In January, the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist sustained the injury three weeks before the Milo Marathon National Finals.

“The target is to get me to better shape physically and mentally,” said the many-time national champion.
Also, the participants in the Tokyo Marathon will get Olympic points depending on their finish.   

Who wins Milo 2019 Women’s Marathon. Battle of SEA Games Champions Tabal vs. Hallasgo

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 7

MARY Joy Tabal, already the winningest female marathoner in the Milo Marathon, will seek to extend her reign to seven years when its largest running event culminates on Jan. 19, 2020, in Tarlac City.

Above all, this will not be an easy task. In contrast, she is now a fierce opponent in the new SEA Games Champion Christine Hallasgo, who ended Tabal’s 7-year winning streak with the local.

Hallasgo improved her PB from 3h04 to 2h56 by a lofty 8 minutes in the SEA Games. In what will be an epic rematch between two SEA Games Champions. Pinoyathletics invites you to cast your vote.

However, the six-time reigning women’s marathon champion will go with the country’s top female qualifiers, including Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Christine Hallasgo.

Full Article Here

Olympian Mary Joy Tabal was thrilled at seeing her face on Milo packs at grocery stores.

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 8

CEBU CITY, Philippines — “(A) a dream come true!”

This is the Cebu marathon Olympian Mary Joy Tabal after finally seeing her photo on the packs of Milo sold in the grocery stores.

“Dream come true! I’ve been dreaming of this since bata pa ko, hilig baya jud tag Milo sauna, maski wala paku gadagan,” said a very delighted Tabal.

(A dream come true! I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a child. I’ve already been fond of Milo ever since, even before I started running.)

“Kato na engage ko to join Milo Little Olympics atong Grade 6 ko, 12 years old, goosebumps jud ko sa Milo jingles, and sa ako heart and mind, ninduta naa sa Milo wrapper ui kay athlete man jud ang naa sa ila pack.”

(When I got to join the Milo Little Olympics when I was in Grade 6, 12 years old, I really have goosebumps when I hear the Milo jingle, and in my heart and mind, I’d be saying how nice it would be to be on the cover of the Milo wrapper because they really have photos of athletes on their pack.)

Mary Joy Tabal
Mary Joy Tabal

Read more:

Mary Joy Tabal runs a ‘SEASONS BEST’ at Scotia-Bank.

Mary Joy Tabal
Mary Joy Tabal

Mary Joy Tabal

Mary Joy Tabal shows her finisher’s medal in the Ottawa Marathon. | photo from Tabal’s IG account

Mary Joy Tabal placed 14th at the Scotia-Bank Marathon in Ottawa, Canada, on Sunday, May 26. 

While timing 2h49.57, which is behind her PB of 2h43.31 from 2016.

Hence this is the same meet where she placed 8th and qualified for Rio Olympics.

‘At least it was a ‘SEASONS BEST’  2h55 at the Milo Marathon last December. Her 6th Milo Marathon title. 

Also, Mary Joy Tabal is ranked #2 for the year in the SEA Rankings for Marathon. At the same time, Jane Vongvorachoti of Thailand timed 2h48.34 in the Seville Marathon in February.

However, Mary Joy Tabal is training in Tokyo, Japan adapting to conditions (previous Italy). And trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, which are held there. 

While Tabal failed to make the 2h29 qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics on this occasion.

“I am suggesting to Sir Jonel (Borromeo) and coach (John Philip Dueñas). To plan for more half marathons this year but we need to study the world rankings to be sure,” said Tabal.

Also, Borromeo is the MotorAce Kawasaki Racing Team’s team manager, while Dueñas is Tabal’s long-time coach.

How to Get to the Olympics?

And Tabal added that she’d also rather race in international competitions to bolster her confidence further.

Mas ganahan ko ma expose ko to more international competitions aron mas mag improve ako confidence and daku kaau help sa akoa na naa lain elites na makasabay naku ug run na same mi’g mga goals ba,” said Tabal.

(I would prefer to be exposed to more international competitions. So my confidence would further improve. And it will be a big help for me if I can run alongside the elites. Who have the same goals as me.)

1. Get the Olympic qualifying time of two hours, 29 minutes, and 30 seconds (2:29:30)

2. finish in the top 10 in world major marathons or top 5 among Gold Label marathons

3. It Is through the world rankings, wherein a runner has to run more marathons or half marathons, where you can earn points and climb up the world rankings.

Mary Joy Tabal Source:

Tabal places 14th in Ottawa Marathon

Busy Year for Tabal

THAT this year will be a busy one for Cebu’s Mary Joy Tabal will be an understatement. However, she will be eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will compete in the Southeast Asian Games.

The 29-year-old Olympian plans to take part in the Tokyo Marathon on March 3. And attempting to qualify for the quadrennial meet held in Tokyo, Japan, next year. 

“It’s still an initial plan since there has been no release yet of the IAAF Olympic qualifying time for the marathon,” Tabal told SunStar Cebu. “But that’s one of the races we are looking at.”

Tabal of Motor Ace Kawasaki Racing Team made it to the 2016 Rio Olympics by clocking 2 hours, 43 minutes, and 32 seconds in Canada’s qualifying race.

While the qualifying time for female marathoners in the 2016 Olympics was 2:45.

“The Tokyo Marathon is part of the plan to be our first race. Then the Ottawa Marathon in May before I start my preparation for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games,” she said.

Mary Joy Tabal Ottawa Marathon

The Ottawa Marathon is the same race where Tabby got the Rio Olympics qualifying time.

Also, for the SEA Games. However, Tabby wants to defend her crown in the 42-kilometer race, especially since the country will host the 30th edition of the biennial regional meet from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

In a previous article, it was most noteworthy that women’s Marathons might not be included in the 2019 SEA Games.

“It’s a different feel when you compete in your hometown. That makes the 2019 SEA Games exciting for us,” Tabal earlier said.  

Yet Tabby is fresh from winning her sixth title in the 42nd Milo Marathon Finals in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Hence making her the winning-est female runner in the history of the event. (RSC)

Tabby Files 2018 – Tabby on Top Again, Tabal wins record 6th Milo Title.

Article by Andrew Pirie ATFS Statistician   

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 9
Tabal wins 6th Milo Title. Tabby and Friends.

Mary Joy Tabal, 29, cemented herself into Milo Marathon History. Surpassing the 5x Gold Peat of Arsenia Sagaray.

Tabal, who had done it all.  The SEA Games Gold Medalist, Olympic Qualifier, National Record Holder, and Milo Record Holder.

Added her 6th title with a time of 2:56.31 at the Milo Marathon in Log, in North of the Philippines.

Although it was very far from her personal best of 2:43.31 set 2 years ago at the Scotia Bank Marathon in Ottawa, Canada.

Ang importante ngayon is happy ako ngayon because I was able to defend my title for the sixth year and iyon nga – strong finish, safe ‘yung mga runners and ganitong environment,” said Tabal,

who returned from an offseason break from the 2018 Asian Games. (The important thing is that I’m happy now because I was able to defend my title for the sixth year, and it was a strong finish, all the runners were safe, and it was a good environment.

Ito yung first time ko ma-experience yung Laoag and napaka-energetic ng mga tao dito, so safe yung takbo natin though meron mga part na medyo madilim, pero overall maganda yung experience ko dito.”

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 10

She did enough to hold off Former 2x SEA Games Marathon Champion Cristabel Martes, who registered 2:59.29 for silver.

Martes, now 39, hopes this feat will secure her a berth in the 2019 SEA Games alongside Tabal.  Christine Hallasgo wound up third in 3:06.16.


The PATAFA announced earlier that the Top 2 in Milo would qualify for the SEA Games in Men’s and Women’s.

Hence Tabal opted to enter the event.

Next year it would be almost impossible for Tabal to go for a 7th win as the SEA Games will be held in December.

Hence they will overlap with the Milo Marathon, which means Tabal will vacate the title to another runner. The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 11



Tabal ponders new IAAF Olympic qualifying rules as she targets her 2nd Olympic Games.

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 12
The Peoples Champion Returns to Cebu to defend her title.

The last few years, the sports community can never forget. The fairy tale ending of Mary Joy Tabal as she went on qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games with that fantastic 2h43 at Scotia Bank, in the process helping herself to the National Records in the Half and Full Marathon. And then went onto becoming SEA Games Champion in 2017. 

Despite warnings by the PATAFA and being suspended several times like a revolving door.

Tabal chose her own coach, own training facilities, and own program and came out on top. 

Tabal also has won the Milo Marathon 5 times and also holds the Milo Record.   

New Qualifying Rules

Now comes the new IAAF qualifying rules.  First, note the qualifying period is January 1, 2019, to June 29, 2020. 


Athletes can qualify in one of two ways:

• by their IAAF world ranking position at the end of the qualification period.

• Achieving the entry standard within the qualification period.

Entry standards will be approved and published on November 1 by the IAAF. Still, they will be set for the sole purpose of qualifying athletes with exceptional performances unable to qualify through the IAAF world rankings pathway.

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 13
Mary Joy Tabal –
Marathon 2h43.31 Scotia Bank, Ottawa, Canada
Phi Record
Olympic Qualifier

So we will have to wait till the end of the year for the standard to come out. Last Olympics, it was 2h42 leading up until they changed it to 2h45 over 6 months out.

Which allowed Tabal to qualify with 2h43. I believe they will put it back to 2h42, but we will have to wait till the IAAF releases the official qualifying standards. 

The Olympics is scheduled from July 31 to August 8, 2020, in Tokyo.

Now the next complicated part is the new ranking system. Please note int the unlikely case nobody qualifies, a member nation is allowed to enter one male or female athlete in any event except combined events, 3000 steeples,s or 10,000m. In road events (Marathon), final discretion is given to the meet officials.

Guidelines for Marathon


 Performances for qualifying purposes may only be achieved on a course measured by an IAAF/AIMS Grade “A,” or “B” International Road Race Course Measurer with the measurement certificate established no more than 5 years before the date of the race.

 For entry standards, the overall decrease in elevation between the start and the finish shall not exceed 1:1000, i.e., 1m per km.

 For World Rankings, in the case of performances achieved on courses with a drop in elevation which exceeds 1:1000, a correction will be made in the result score from which points will be deducted depending on the drop   5 Marathons in 17 Months??? The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 14 The Marathon has been limited to a maximum of 80 entries.

Qualifiers based on IAAF standards on Nov 1, 2019, and the world rankings (based on average 5 times).

Looking at this for the Marathon, it may not be sensible to do 5 Marathons in 17 Months.

While the last Olympics, Tabal had to run an extra Marathon as Scotia Bank to ensure she qualified against the wishes of the PATAFA.

Hopefully, she will not be in such a predicament again.

Although the new IAAF rules are pushing that predicament.

That is, of course, unless the IAAF would be willing to accept half marathon times.

The recommendation by PATAFA and other experts is there should be at least 6 months between Marathons.

PATAFA stated 6 months between Marathons in earlier posts, Pinoyathletics firmly believes this must be stuck to.

So Tabal should really focus on bigger events than Milo, where she lacks quality opponents.

Events like Scotia Bank are much better options.

Tabal has already done everything she can to promote Milo Marathon over the years and has won it more times than any other woman.

The Meet promoters should understand if she bypasses the event now as she needs bigger meets to qualify for the Olympic Games. The easier route for Tabal will be to hit the qualifying standard rather than do 5 Marathons in 17 Months. Well, I guess we have to wait and see on Nov 1 what that standard is.

Mapping out the 2020 Olympics 

  • 2017 -December- Milo Marathon Finals 2018 -August- Asian Games 
  • 2018 -December- Milo Marathon Finals
  • 2019 (January start of qualifying)
  • 2019 -December -SEA Games (will overlap with Milo)
  • 2020 (June end of qualifying)
  • 2020 – August Olympic Games Marathon 

Tabby Moves on after Disappointing Asian Games Performance

Sept 25, 2018  

For the Record: Tabal finished 11th place at the Asian Games. Ahead of all our South East Asian Rivals, the Two Thai’s. She was the only local athlete from the Philippines who finished first against other South East Asian athletes at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta last month. And is looking pretty good to defend her SEA Games title next year.


Tabal puts Asian Games disappointment behind.


Tabal on Heartbreak Hill (Photo Credit: Jeff Philips)

By: Romina S. Austria – Editor / @INQUIRERSports

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:02 AM September 24, 2018
SINGAPORE—Mary Joy Tabal admitted she was disheartened over her recent Asian Games performance in Indonesia. The Cebuana, the reigning Southeast Asian Games marathon queen, wound up 11th overall in her Asiad debut with a time of 2 hours, 51 minutes, and 41 seconds.
Her effort was almost 17 minutes slower than Kenyan-born Rose Chelimo of Bahrain, the gold medalist who clocked 2:34:51.
“I was targeting 2:45,” said the 29-year-old Tabal, the country’s representative in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Full Article Here

Tabby Plays it Cool over Asian Games Predictions.

July 1, 2018, Cebu Olympian Mary Joy Tabal (Tabby), who is already on her fourth month of training in Italy, is optimistic with realistic chances in the Asian Games 2018, less than two months away.    Asian Games Schedule can be found here. 

Tabal will run the Women’s Marathon on Day 2, August 26. At 6.00 am (Jakarta time), or 7.00 am in the Philippines.  

We have written our analysis for Tabal on Athletics to Asian Game 2018. Tabal has not run a Marathon since the Milo Finals in December.

However, she ran 3 Half Marathons this year, opening on February 18 in Cebu at 1:23.07 and then at Padova on 22 April at 1:18.58.

She then won the Jeju International in Korea at the end of May with a 1;18.44, the leading time in South East Asia. Tabal’s Half Marathon National Record is 1;16.27 from Ottawa Marathon in 2017.  

“Feeling better everyday, buyag-buyag,” said Tabal in an interview with Cebu Daily News. “I’m feeling better, kulang nalang more long runs and am ready to go. First long run pa namu last Saturday, then tom napud ang second, progressing pami sa mileage going peak.”

The 2017 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist is currently in Monte Amiata for the altitude training and athletic training done at high altitudes to improve athletic performance.

  According to Tabal, her coach, Giambrone Giuseppe, has her doing still marathon-specific training, but this time at a high altitude where there’s less oxygen.

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 15
Tabby in Tuscany. Tabby in Training

She added that they’d go back to the training camp in Tuscany by July 7. However, they may still return to Monte Amiata because it is getting hotter in Tuscany, reaching 40 degrees. As of this article, it is 32 degrees in Jakarta, Indonesia.  

They need to go down first to test her training in the warmer weather because it is also hot in Jakarta, where she will be competing in the Asian Games. Jakarta is more humid, whereas Italy is a more dry heat.  

“Importante mahuman lang namu dri ang peak sa training, then adjustmentn alang dayun sa init na weather,” said Tabal.

The Southeast Asian marathon queen was supposed to compete on the second week of June in the 21-kilometer distance of the Mezza Maraton de Roma, wherein she placed second last year as part of her training.  

However, she had to cancel it because she felt something on her right foot arc a week before the race, and she didn’t want to worsen it.  

She said she’ll make up for missing that race with perhaps a 10K road race by the end of July for evaluation and to gain more confidence.  

Her coach, however, has yet to look for a race wherein she could compete. As a result, Tabal is set to return to Cebu on August 14 and do tapering training while awaiting instructions from the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.  

Article from Cebu Daily News 

Tabby on MMK. A tale worth telling

Feb 22, 2018The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 16, FROM her humble beginnings in the mountains of Cebu City to becoming the country’s best female marathoner. This is the storyline of Mary Joy Tabal that will be aired on the popular TV Series Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) this Saturday.

Actress Sharlene San Pedro will play the 28-year-old Tabal, the first Filipina to finish a marathon in the Olympics.

Tabal’s story was much-publicized in the local media, from her personal struggle to rise as the country’s best female marathon runner.

One story that caught the public’s attention was her recent win in the 41st Milo Marathon Finals last Dec. 3. She won her fifth straight title despite her father’s death, Rolando, 22 hours before the start of the race.  

“The story focuses on my start and my family. At first, I was hesitant to do this because I want to maintain my private life. But I decided to take this chance hoping that I can inspire athletes,” Tabal told SunStar Cebu.

“There are some things in your life that need to be told,” added the 29th Southeast Asian (Sea) Games gold medalist. Tabal, who hails from Barangay Guba, Cebu City, said that it was she won the Milo Marathon that someone from ABS-CBN contacted her to tell her story.

“They did an interview with me over the phone for my background. It was submitted to their researcher and I did another phone interview last month,” she said. Tabal said she has finally decided this month to go with the airing of her story.

“I was hesitant but my siblings and coach John Philip Dueñas convinced me to give it a go. The staff from MMK informed me this week that it will be aired this Saturday,” she said.

Tabal, the second of four siblings, was raised by a single father, Rolando, a police officer, after her parents separated when she was still a sixth-grader.

Tabal had a rough start in her running career. She was a sprinter who moved to long-distance running. On her first 10K race, she collapsed at the finish line in 2009.

In 2013, Tabal got her first biggest achievement, winning the Milo Marathon Finals, and the rest is history.

Tabal said there are other parts of her life, though, that will not be shown on MMK;

One of that was her much-publicized issue with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa). Tabal said that she wants to inspire young athletes with her life, and the “political” issues in sports will only discourage athletes who dream to make it to the national team. 

Veteran actor Dominic Ochoa plays Rolando’s role model, actor Manuel Chua will play Tabal’s long-time coach Dueñas, and Katya Santos will play her mother, Annabelle. (RSC)   Watch Replay Here  


Has the Philippines Sports Commission Found the Next Tabby Yet? Sinulog Fun Run (Results Included) Visayas autonomous program

January 8, 2018

The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 17

The Philippine Sports Commission Conducted its hunt for the next Mary Joy Tabal. Looking no further than locally in Cebu. 

      • Tabal, a 5 time Milo Marathon Champion
      • National Record Holder in Half Marathon
      • National Record Holder in Marathon
      • SEA Games Champion
      • Olympian
The Amazing Mary Joy Tabal #1 18
OFF TO ILOILO. ebu marathon queen Mary Joy Tabal (second from left) poses with fun run winners ( from left) Jessel Ochia, Krizha Danica Jugalbot, and Earle NatividadAmong, the contenders, was Geneciel Saballa, 19, who won the 10k in 42:25.14

“I am a big fan of ate Joy (Tabal) and I want to follow her footsteps,” said Saballa, a third year student taking up Bachelor of Science in Education at USC. “I will do my best during the training sessions with coach Philip. I am excited to learn [the] things he [taught] ate Joy.”  

The three distances were divided into three age groups, with the 3k featuring 12-under runners, 5k composed of 16-under runners, and the 10k made up of 22-under runners.

There was also a separate open category for the three distances, which was not part of the Visayas Open.

Also earning free training with Dueñas is the University of Cebu’s (UC) Prince Joey Lee, who topped the men’s 10k (22-under) race by clocking 33:37.78.

The 21-year-old graduating computer engineering student, one of Spectrum Runners Club’s ace runners, said he wants to learn from Dueñas even if he has his own training program.

“I am very happy that I qualified for the Iloilo race because one of my goals is to become a member of the national team,” said the runner from Toledo City.“This kind of running event encourages a lot of young runners like me to strive harder. I hope this will continue for a long time.”

Meanwhile, Dueñas said the PSC’s free training would start either March or April at the CCSC. He said he would first assess each participant’s skills to provide them with specific training programs that they will use daily.

“I have to apply the same training that I did with Joy (Tabal) because all of the winning runners I assume have the basic fundamentals of running.

They are already on the competitive level,” said Dueñas.

Since he is a licensed PSC national coach, Dueñas will also apply for PSC’s training program and combine it with his own.

Tabal, for her part, is excited to see the runners start training with Dueñas, her trainer since 2009.

PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez was elated with the fun-run results and hopes this will help the PSC’s mission find the next Mary Joy Tabal.

60 Athletes will join a 12-week training camp with Tabal’s coach Philip John Duenas. This will be from March to April. The top 20 runners in the 10-kilometer (22-Under), 5K (16-Under), and 3K (12-Under) will compose Cebu’s 60-member delegation in the second leg on Aug. 11 in Iloilo City.

The runners will participate in the 12-week-long training with Dueñas, the Olympian, and Southeast Asian (Sea) Games marathon gold medalist Mary Joy Tabal.



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