Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof


Mary Joy Tabal





Table of Contents

Mary Joy Tabal – Profile

Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 1
Mary Joy Tabal won the first gold medal for the Philippines in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in women’s marathon on Saturday morning in this city south of Kuala Lumpur.(photo by ali vicoy)
  • Born: 13 Jul 1989
  • Cebu City
  • College: South-Western University, Cebu (Graduated)
  • Coach: Philip Duenas (mainly), some help from Foreign Coaches
  • Location: Cebu City / Currently Tuscany, Italy
  • Independent National Athlete helped by PSC (on and off)


Performance Profile:

  • Half Marathon: 1:16.28 (National Record)
  • Marathon: 2:43.31 (National Record)Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 2


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 amazing articles under 1 roof 3


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

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

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

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

Making it four in a row. At the 2015 SEA Games, Tabal took the silver, in very difficult wet conditions. In 2016 she broke the very 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 at the Olympic Games.

She was largely helped by Motorace, was able to train in Japan, and then Italy with the help of her sponsors.

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

Mary Joy Tabal
Tabal goes into the SEA Games as a strong contender her main challenge is going to come from the young girl from Vietnam who took bronze last SEA Games. Who has ran 2:45 vs Tabal 2:43. Olympian Jane Vongvorotchi of Thailand who has a PB of 2:40 will not be joining. Mary Joy   Marathon 2h43.31 Scotia Bank, Ottawa, Canada Phi Record Olympic Qualifier

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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. Which is her last shot for qualifying in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics After three international races got canceled due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

The Hong Kong Marathon, Seoul Marathon and Tokyo Marathon. All major qualifying races for the Summer Games were affected by the virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Leaving 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. That 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’s chances of qualifying for this July’s 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan is running out.

This is because two of the international races she was planning to join in order 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 the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Also, 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 organizers of the Tokyo Marathon has 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.

The Hong Kong run is 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 where they can earn points and climb up the world rankings.

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 the 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, 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’s 2:49:57, good for a #1,349 ranking (results score of 945) in the event that limits times to 3:00:00.

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

This all goes to show 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. 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

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.

Also if Tabal is not going to qualify. Certainly, Christine Hallasgo will 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 its pens and papers down and pass your notes to the front of the class.

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



Tabal eyes Tokyo spot via Tokyo 42K

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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 on March 1, 2020. 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.

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

“The target is to get me to better shape physically and mentally,” said the many-time national champion.
In addition, 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

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

Above all this will not be an easy task. In contrast, considering she now as 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 Champion. Pinoyathletics invites you to cast your vote.

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

Full Article Here

Olympian Tabal thrilled at seeing her face on Milo packs at grocery stores

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

This is the reaction of Cebu marathon Olympian Mary Joy Tabal after finally seeing her photo on the packs of Milo sold on 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 amazing articles under 1 roof 36

Read more:

Tabal runs a ‘SEASONS BEST’ at Scotia-Bank

Mary Joy Tabal

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 is ranked #2 for the year in the SEA Rankings for Marathon. While Jane Vongvorachoti of Thailand timed 2h48.34 in the Seville Marathon in February.

However Tabal is training in Tokyo Japan adapting to conditions (previous years in 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 team manager of MotorAce Kawasaki Racing Team 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 further bolster her confidence.

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 in more international competitions. So my confidence would further improve. And it will be a big help for me if I am able to run alongside the elites. Who have the same goals with 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. 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 that will be 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 a qualifying race in Canada.

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 is looking to defend her crown in the 42-kilometer race. Especially since the country will host the 30th edition of the biennial regional meet on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

Most noteworthy in a previous article it was mentioned women’s Marathon 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   

Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 37
Tabal wins 6th Milo Title. Tabby and Friends.

Mary Joy Tabal, 29 cemented her self 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 Laog, 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. (he 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.”

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

Martes who is now 39, is hoping 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 in the year the Top 2 in Milo would qualify for the SEA Games in both Men’s and Women’s.

Hence Tabal opted to enter the event.

Next year it would be almost impossible for Tabal 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 have to vacate the title to another runner. Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 39



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

Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 40
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 onto 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 to choose 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 virtue of 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 but will be set for the sole purpose of qualifying athletes with exceptional performances unable to qualify through the IAAF world rankings pathway.

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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 release the official qualifying standards. 

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

Now the next complicated part is the new ranking system Please note int he unlikely case nobody qualifies a member nation is allowed to enter one male or female athlete in any event except combined events, 3000 steeples 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 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??? Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 42 The Marathon has been limited to a maximum of 80 entries.

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

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

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

As PATAFA stated 6 months between Marathons in earlier posts, Pinoyathletics firmly believes also 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 already has done everything she can to promote Milo Marathon over the years and has won it more times than any other women already.

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 is going to 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 was able to finish 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 which is 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 6.00am in the Morning (Jakarta time) or 7.00am 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 1:23.07 and then at Padova on 22 April 1:18.58.

And then she won the Jeju International in Korea at the end of May with a 1;18.44 which is 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 that is 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 in the high altitude where there’s less oxygen.

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Tabby in Tuscany. Tabby in Training

She added that they’ll go back to the training camp in Tuscany by July 7 but it’s possible that they will return to Monte Amiata because it is getting hotter in Tuscany with temperatures now 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 more of 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 was feeling something on her right foot arc a week prior to 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.Tabal is set to return to Cebu on August 14 and do tapering training while she awaits instructions from the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.  

Article from Cebu Daily News 

Tabby on MMK. A tale worth telling

Feb 22, 2018Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 44 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 role of the 28-year-old Tabal, who’s 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 her rise as the best female marathon runner in the country.

One story that caught the attention of the public was her recent win in the 41st Milo Marathon Finals last Dec. 3. She won her fifth straight title despite the death of her father, 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 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 the role of Rolando, model and 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

Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 45

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
Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 46
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 who is also one of Spectrum Runners Club’s ace runner 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 free training under the PSC will start either March or April at the CCSC. He said he will first assess each participant’s skills so he can provide them with specific training programs that they will use on a daily basis.

“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 results of the fun run and hopes this will help the PSC’s mission to 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 take part in the 12-week-long training with Dueñas, the long-time coach of Olympian and Southeast Asian (Sea) Games marathon gold medalist Mary Joy Tabal.



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Female Athlete of the Year – Mary Joy Tabal


Having yoyoed back and forth between PATAFA membership and autonomy. Mary Joy Tabal controversial year drew to a climax at the 2017 SEA Games.

Where she proved that her preparation led to a SEA Games title. Last year Tabal was a joint Female Athlete of the Year with Marestella Torres. This year she was the sole holder.

Tabal having made the Olympics and Broken the Marathon Record at Ottawa last year en route to doing so. She continued her training in Italy. 

2017 was no less of a continuation to a fabulous 2016 year of milestones. Tabal broke the National Half Marathon record of the Great Christabel Martes,

From there she upgraded her SEA Games silver from 2015 into a Gold in 2017. She also went onto win her 5th consecutive Milo Marathon title.


2017 Tabby Files feat. Tears of Joy, Tabby SEA Games Champion

Mary Joy Tabal, 28 followed in the footsteps of the Great Jhoann Banayag and Cristabel Martes to crown herself the SEA Games Marathon Queen.

The emphatic victory of the tiny 4’11 girl from Cebu. Was a bittersweet reward for years of hard work from her.

And her hard-working coach Philip John Duenas.

Also, Joys sponsor Motorace, her Italian Coach, Japanese coach, PSC and everyone who contributed towards her success and believed in her ability.

Tears of Joy

Tabal emphatic win came with a large 7-sec margin over her closest pursuer. Her time of 2h48.26 although far from her 2h43.31 National record was really of no consequence.

As she dominated the field with her closest pursuer Thi Thanh Hoang behind at 2;55.43 for the silver.

And Natthaya T. the bronze in 2:58.17. The Course was a 5 lap loop. The few months of training in Tuscany, Italy boosted her performance significantly.

The win allowed the Philippines to secure 1 Gold before the opening of the Games. And broke the gold medal drought.

The task-force is aiming for 50 Golds so will be hoping for another 49 for the rest of the competition.

Last SEA Games in 2015 Singapore it was slow with Natthaya winning in 3.03.25, from Tabal 3.04.39, and Hoang 3:07.14. Probably 2015 the slowest Marathon in SEA Games history due to the pouring rain.

Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 47

Details on Men’s Marathon

Tears of Joy
Tears of Joy

Oct 4, 2017

Tears of Joy

Tears of Joy : Mary Joy Tabal enroute to SEA Games Marathon Title.


Tears of Joy: 5 is a Magic Number

SEA Games Marathon Champion Mary Joy Tabal, despite a busy and hectic schedule which will see her flying around the world a lot in the next few months.

Vowed that she will be going for her 5th straight Milo Marathon Title. While The 41st Milo Marathon will be held in Cebu on December 3. Furthermore, Tabal is going for a Historic 5th win.

Why is 5 a magic number? Because Tabal now can tie the #5 wins in Milo. Most noteworthy 5 Milo Marathon titles feat is jointly held by Arsenia Sagaray and the Great Cristabel Martes (2x SEA Games Champion 2001, 2005).

While Tabal holds the Milo Marathon course record with a time of 2h47.49 held at Iloilo. Also, the Milo Marathon which historically had been usually held in Manila. Now has gone nationwide with Clark, Iloilo, and Cebu adding variety to the meet location.


Italy on Hold

Hence the 28-year-old Tabal has postponed her trips to train in Italy. So she can give her fans what they want.

And continues to support and give back to the Milo event which helped make her into the champion she is today.

Tabal’s target was to leave for Italy is on Oct. 10.

Especially relevant is that the date will depend on her visa and her major backer, Motor Ace Philippines.

“Hoping to defend my title in the Milo Marathon, but the main target for me is the Asian Games,” she earlier said. The 2018 Asian Games will be held in Indonesia on Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.

Tears of Joy
Team Tabby and JPD training at Marikina Oval for training

Train with Tabby

While Mary Joy Tabal with her longtime coach John Philip Duenas invited athletes in Marikina to train with Tabby.

Hence Tabal trained two days at the University of Makati with some like-minded athletes.

  1. Tears of JoyPhoto Credit: Karla Maria Yambot




Tabby’s Money Tabal nabs over 1 Million Pesos after SEA Games Win (update)

Sept 13, 2017


This article came from the Mary Joy Tabal under the raised RA9064 law amounts will receive 300,000 Pesos from the PSC for the gold medal.

Hopefully her coach John Philip Duenas of Cebu (who has coached her for almost 7 years). Will receive the 150,000 Peso amount and it will not be divided evenly as per the policy of PATAFA amongst their coaches.

All up Tabal will be earning 900,000 Pesos from the Cebu City Government, Mayors Discretionary Act and PSC Funds collectively.   UPDATED: Tabal also netted an additional 100,000 Pesos from Cebu Province and another 50,000 from Dennis Uy Funds Foundation.  This now brings the total to 1.05 Million Pesos. I have edited the article from Sunstar a bit to make it easier to read.

Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 48Tabby High Fives the crowd as she claims the SEA Games Marathon tItle.

Tabal to receive P500,000 from Cebu City Government FOR winning a gold medal in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. Mary Joy Tabal will receive a P500,000 cash incentive from the Cebu City Government following the resolution’s approval last Tuesday.

The Cebuana marathoner won the country’s first gold medal in the biennial meet. After she topped the women’s marathon last Aug. 19 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The City Council has approved the resolution of Councilor Jerry Guardo granting P500,000 to Tabal.

This will defray the expenses she incurred in her training for the 29th Sea Games and also for her upcoming races.

Tabal said that the amount will be a huge help, especially since she’s preparing for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

The amount will be charged to the City Sponsored Activities and will be subject to the rules and regulations of the Commission on Audit.

“Through Tabal’s talent and determination. She has proven that Filipinos have a world-class talent and winning tradition in the field of sports. By exhibiting exemplary talent through proper training and perseverance,” said Guardo, deputy mayor for sports.

Tabal also received P100,000 cash incentive from the City from the discretionary fund of Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Aside from the incentive she got from the local government unit. The runner from Barangay Guba, will also receive a cash incentive from the national government through the Philippine Sports Commission.

Under the revised Republic Act 9064, SEA Games medalists will get P300,000 for a gold, P150,000 for a silver and P60,000 for the bronze.

Tabal won the gold medal in 2 hours, 48 minutes and 26 seconds. She has improved on her silver medal finish on her debut in Singapore two years ago.

(RSC) Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 07, 2017. Latest issues of SunStar Cebu also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at and get a free seven-day trial.

PATAFA PRESS STATEMENT on Mary Joy Tabal’s Appeal for Reinstatement

Jun 10, 2017

  1. 09 June 2017
    The PATAFA Reinstatement Committee has recommended the reinstatement of Mary Joy Tabal to the national Athletics team to the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.
    The conditions for reinstatement include the following:
    1)     Ms Tabal shall sign a written undertaking committing herself to abide by the  
         PATAFA Rules and Regulations for all national athletes to be sent to PATAFA on or 
         before June 14, 2017 (Manila time); June 15, 2017 being the deadline of submission  
         of the final list of entries of athletes to the POC for the 2017 SEA Games, which  
         include among others: 
    a.     training under the PATAFA-designated national coach,
    b.     training in either of the two training camps – Baguio and Manila
    c.     conducting herself at all times in a manner that demonstrates 
          respect to fellow athletes, the PATAFA and its officials, and
          compliance with the universal code of conduct, written or unwritten,
          expected of all elite athletes;
    2)     Ms. Tabal shall withdraw, officially and publicly, her baseless February 17, 2017 
         complaint letter sent to the Philippine Sports Commission addressed to
    Atty. Carlo 
         Abarquez. the executive Director of the PSC
    The Committee members include PATAFA Director and Committee co-chair and former Congressman, Atty Rufus Rodriguez, Secretary General, Renato Unso, PATAFA Communications and Marketing Director, Edward Kho. Atty Nicanor Sering, PATAFA Exec Vice President, and national athletics coach Jojo Posadas are the other two members of the Committee who attended earlier meetings of the Committee.
    Present also was Dean Baldomero Estenzo, Dean of the University of Cebu who serves as PATAFA liaison in Cebu for Athletics matters.
    As stated in the Committee Resolution, Tabal has up to June 14, 2017 to send to PATAFA a written undertaking that she will abide with the terms of the Resolution.
    The deadline set by SEAGames organisers for the submission of names of athletes is June 15, 2017.

Tears of Joy: Tabal’s entry to SEA Games Unsure

Jun 2, 2017

Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 50

Three Newspaper articles with various statements came out. From The Malaya, Inquirer and Sunstar.

Pinoyathletics prays that PATAFA and Mary Joy Tabal and her group can find a resolution to this matter before the deadline of entries closes for SEA Games.

As we are not privy to the arrangement between PATAFA and Tabal’s group we are taking a neutral stance while this matter is sorted.

Please note articles also stated Caleb Stuart (2015 SEA Games Champion and Record Holder) in Hammer and Donovont Arriola (SEA Games Bronze medalist 2015 in Long Jump).

Are not in the lineup for SEA Games 2017 due to injuries.

Also Jessica Barnard who apparently hasn’t contacted PATAFA. And Tabal whose case is separate to the three.

Article Here


MARY Joy Tabal’s inclusion to the Philippine delegation for the 29th Southeast Asian (Sea) Games hangs on a limbo even after a record-breaking win in the 2017 Ottawa Marathon.

Tabal, a silver medallist in the marathon event of the 28th SEA Games in Singapore, is reportedly out of the SEA Games lineup of Philippines Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa), the national sports association (NSA) for track and field in the country, because of failure to “follow the process.”

The final lineup for the Philippine delegation in the biennial meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, however, will be finalized only on June 10 to 15. Patafa president Phillip Ella Juico will not confirm nor deny Tabal’s exclusion from the national team roster. He, however said in a text message that “If you want to run for the country? Then, you follow the process all aspiring national athletes follow without exception.”

Juico will not elaborate and did not mention Tabal’s name saying that for questions regarding ‘people excluded in the roster’ to just contact Atty. Nicanor Sering, the Patafa executive vice president.

Full Article Here



Patafa executive vice president Nicanor “Boy” Sering made the announcement Wednesday, saying that Tabal failed to cooperate with the local track and field association for her inclusion in the national team.

“She didn’t show any intention of participating in the national team. There was no effort on her part,” said Sering

“There’s a process that we have to follow if an athlete wants to join the national team. Even if you’re clockings are good, that doesn’t make you a national player outright,” added Sering.

Full Article

Tears of Joy: Mary Joy Tabal breaks National Record in Half Marathon at Scotia Bank

May 29, 2017

  1. PATAFATears of Joy: Nothing ‘Curious’ about her performances. Tabal continues to push out good performances for the Philippines.

Scotia Bank, proved bountiful for 28-year-old Olympian Mary Joy Tabal again.

The Philippines top women’s Marathoner won the prestigious Scotia Bank, Ottawa Half Marathon in a time of 1 hour 16.27.4.

The mark absolutely bulldozed! her own National Record of 1hour 18.44 set in Japan last year.

I was shock with her first 10km.. its 35.44 mins. And her predictable time was 1:13+ Then nxt to that is 1:15. Said her long time coach Philip Duenas who is not part of the PATAFA.

Tabal exactly 1 year ago at the Scotia Bank event clocked 2h43.31 to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics (2h45.00) without the help or assistance of PATAFA and any of their coaches.

Tabal who is not a member of PATAFA has been training extensively in Italy backed by Motorace.

Prior to this she was training sponsored by Motorace in Japan. She was the silver medallist in the last SEA Games,

In 2017 SEA Games Tabal is expected to face her main strong opponent Thai-American Olympian Jane Vongvorachoti. Vongvorachoti, 33.

Jane finished ahead of Tabal during the Rio Olympic Games.

Meanwhile the other Filipino entry Milo Marathon Champion Jeson Agravante timed 2 hours 56.57 to place 29th out of 273.

Agravante time did not make the bronze medal standard for the SEA Games of 2 hours37.10. Although his best time of 2 hours 35 13 could probably be considered for qualification.

  1. Official Results Here  
  • Tabby Files 2016 Mary Joy Tabal Olympic Journey Including 52 Page Document Archive

  • The Top Part is a 52 Page Document Archive of Correspondence in Emails and Letters between Tabal and PATAFA on Scribd Regarding her lead-up to the 2016 Olympic Games.
  • Tabal
  • Tabal makes it Four Milo Marathon Titles, one away from History

  • Dec 26, 2016
  • Mary Joy Tabal, 27. Took her fourth win in a row at the prestigious Milo Marathon in Iloilo. Tabal took the win in a time of 2h47.49. In the process Tabal broke her Milo Marathon Record of 2h48.

    It was outside her National Record of 2h43.31 set at the Scotia Bank, in Ottawa last year which qualified her with the help of her sponsor Motorace to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    Tabal win took her to 4 wins, only Arsenia Sagaray and Christabel Martes with 5 each have ever exceeded that.

  • If Tabal defends her title next year she will shine among the two former SEA Games Champions. At 27 years of age, Tabal could theoretically get 6 and become the greatest Marathoner in the History of Philippine Women’s Marathon.

    Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 61Martes was a distant second place in 3.10.11 in silver.  and Lizane Abella was bronze in 3.14.27.

    Former 3x Milo Champion and member of national team Mary Grace Delos Santos, 29 was not able to finish the race.

  • Delos Santos did finish second in 2015 Finals with a time of 3.02.21 below the SEA Games silver medal standard. Which must be up for consideration for the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

    Tabal will compete in the SEA Games next year as she has qualified with her 2.43.41 Philippine National record and Olympic qualifying time. Her main opponent will be Jane Vongvorotchi, 32 Thailand’s American based Olympic marathoner who has run 2.42.09 this year and has a PB of 2.40.40 from 2014.

  • Vongvorotchi Pulls Out

  • Last SEA Games Vongvorotchi got cramps which caused her to DNF in the Women’s SEA Games Marathon in Singapore 2015. She was the favorite in the event.

  • She did, however, come back a few days later and claim bronze in the Women’s 10,000m wearing rubber shoes. Vongvorotchi placed 91st in the Rio Olympic Marathon while Tabal placed 122nd.

    It was a slow 2015 SEA Games won in 3.03.25 by Natthaya Thanaronnawat of Thailand, with Tabal taking second in 3.04.39 and bronze going to Hoang Thi Thanh of Vietnam in 3.07.14.

    Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 62
    Jeson Agravante

    On the Men’s side, Jeson Agravante took his first national title in the Men’s Marathon winning in a time of 2.35.13, the second was another unknown Maclin Sadia 2.35.22 in a sprint finish. And bronze was former national athlete Julius Sermona, 38 in 2.37.01. National record holder and 4x SEA Games champion Eduardo Buenavista was fifth.

    While two-time defending champion Rafael Poliquit was not able to finish the race. The slow time of 2.37.10 which was bronze at last SEA Games puts Agravante and Sadia at the bronze standard.

    This was faster than the 2.36.10 of Poliquit in 2015 Milo Marathon Finals.

    But this trails well behind SEA Games Champion Soh Rui Yong who has already run 2h24 this year. In the 2015 SEA Games it was the first time since the Philippines joined SEA Games that the men had failed to make the podium.


    • Mary Joy Tabal Olympics 2016 Journey Articles

      Rio Olympic Wrap up: Mary Joy Tabal 124th in Women’s Marathon

      Aug 20, 2016 Article by Andrew Pirie ATFS Statistician 

    I apologize to our readers as I have not had regular access to the Internet. I will begin my review of Olympic Wrap-ups.

    August 24, 2016, not a good day for Mary Joy Tabal, 27 who wound up 124th of 133 in a time of 3h02.27. Tabal mark was well below her National Record of 2h43.31.

  • Which saw her qualify for the Rio Olympics at the Scotia-bank Marathon, Ottawa Canada on 29th May 2016 below the 2h45 Olympic standard. The previous standard of 2h42 IS now 2h45 by the IAAF in December 2015.

    Nearly 30 competitors failed to finish the Women’s Marathon due to the extreme heat. Tabal’s time was still below her 3h04.39 silver medal run at the 2015 SEA Games, Tabal also beat SEA Games Champion Thai Natthaya Thanaronnawat (Thailand) who clocked 3h11.31 and Singapore’s wild-card entry Jie Shie Neo (Singapore) 3h15.18.

    However, Thai Veteran Jane Vongvorachoti who Dnfed last SEA Games will present a real challenge to Tabal at next year’s SEA Games in Malaysia. Vongvorachoti who represented Thailand in Soccer before switching to athletics a few years ago was 91st in 2h47.27. Her PB is 2h40.40.


    Jemima Jelgat Sumgong, 32 of Kenya 4th in world champs last year took Gold in 2h24.04. Another Kenyan running for Bahrain Eunice Kirwa took the silver in 2h24.13. Reigning world champion Mire Dibaba of Ethiopia took bronze in 2h24. The top four athletes were East Africans.

    Tabal had run three marathons in a 12 month period against the wishes of the PATAFA who stated only two should be joined. She qualified for Rio on her third marathon in a 12 month time period. Tabal resigned and was then reinstated by PATAFA.

    Tabal made it very clear we haven’t seen the last of her. And she will attempt another stint at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by which time she will be 31 years of age. Still a competitive age for a female international marathoner. The top 2 of the 2016 Olympics were both 32 years old.

  • Indeed “When you never give up. You never fail”. Mary Joy Tabal you have made us all proud may you continue to inspire the youth to follow there dreams.

  • mary joy tabal olympics


  • And then there where Two: Tabby hits Rio Olympic Standard

    Article by Andrew Pirie ATFS Statistician 
  • Mary Joy Tabal (Tabby), became the second Filipino Athletics athlete to hit the Olympic

    Standard. Tabby who ran 2.43.31 officially at the Scotia Bank Marathon in Ottawa Canada this morning. She now joins Eric Shauwn Cray (400 Hurdles) as the only legitimate qualifier to hit the IAAF Standards for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    Also Tabby went under the official national record of Jhoann Banayag which was 2.44.21 set in the 2007 SEA Games in Bangkok. Yet the IAAF in December softened the Women’s Marathon qualification from 2.42 to 2.45 last December.

    While according to Tabal’s coach Philip Duenas. The Ottawa meet is IAAF Gold Standard, so it meets the requirements to qualify for Rio.

  • Hence with the closing date of qualification on July 11. Also, Tabal placed in the top 10 for women’s winning 1000 USD prize money for her effort.

    While we would like to take the time to thank all the sponsors of Tabal who guided and supported her. 

  • Motor Ace Philippines, GGC, Asics Philippines, Motor Ace Kawasaki, Citi Gym.

    Hence after she left the PATAFA and decided to stick with her longtime coach John Philip Duenas.

  • Finance herself and choose which meets to compete in. While the decision to handle her own finances. Choose which meets to go in and where to train paid off big with an Olympic standard and national record.

    While the decision has paid off big, after evaluating their options Tabal decided to train in Japan with the help of her sponsors. There she was on a holistic program with coach Usami and a team of specialists helping her prepare for her goal.

    Tabal fell short of that goal in the difficult hilly Boston Marathon running 2:49, but has now bounced back with a New National Record and Rio Standard a few months later.

    I put the success of Tabal down to her hardworking loyal and scientific coach John Philip Duenas, her sponsors (mentioned above), her overseas training in Japan and all the people who continued to believe in her ability.

    Full Results Here

  • tabby




  • Tabal

  • PATAFA reinstates Mary Joy Tabal to the National Team

  • All Other Athletes must hit the standard now With Tabal making the standard, this now means (see extract below) no more wild cards. Marestella Torres (6.60m) now must leap 6.70m, and Kayla Richardson (23.67) now must run 23.20 or below to qualify for Rio. Ernest John Obiena who has leapt 5.55m needs 5.70m to qualify. The above athletes have until July 11, 2016, to register there marks. The Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil August 5-21.


    From IAAF NOCs with no male or female qualified athlete or relay team will be allowed to enter their best male athlete and their best female athlete in one athletic event each, with the exception of the Combined Events, 10,000m and 3000m Steeplechase.

  • CEBUANA marathoner Mary Joy Tabal can now compete in the Rio Olympics. PATAFA reinstated here yesterday.
  • Tabal, who qualified for the Rio Olympics after meeting the standard in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon last May 29. I resigned from PATAFA last year.
  • She met officials of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association last Monday to discuss her reinstatement.
  • We have long wanted to protect Mary Joy and we have questioned her racing schedule and its effects on her ability to sustain steady improvements over time.
  • However, we also recognize that she qualified on her own. We put our differences aside, we reinstated her and we have allowed her to follow her training program despite our concerns.
  • And we hope for the best in Rio for the nation.
  • Patafa’s statement on Tabal’s reinstatement.  

  • CEBUANA Mary Joy Tabal is now officially the first Filipina marathoner to make it to the Olympics.
  • After the Philippine Amateur Athletic Association (Patafa) reinstated her as a member of the national squad yesterday.  
  • Tabal had to pass through the eye of the needle to make it to the Olympics.
  • As she had to run two Olympic qualifiers to make the 2 hours and 45 minutes qualifying time for women’s marathon.

She finally got it on the second try at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon last month in Canada where she clocked 2:43.31.  

After getting the qualifying time, she wrote a letter of reinstatement to the national team to Patafa. The national sports association for the country’s track and field, before getting the go signal.

Tabal resigned from the national team last year.

“The road to Rio is definitely not easy. I have to go through a lot before making this dream a reality. I am very excited and happy right now,” Tabal told Sun.Star Cebu after she received the confirmation e-mail from Patafa.

Full Article Sunstar

Tabal said there were four topics discussed

  1. sponsorship
  2. race events
  3. coach
  4. training venue

that was talked and two of that was already addressed, the other two will be decided after Rio.

“They have no problem with the sponsorship and regarding my race events, it is OK as long as I plot the race ahead and get the confirmation of the national coaches. The agreement on who will be my coach and where is my training venue will be decided after Rio,” said Tabal.





Tabby without a team (From Sunstar)

Sept 11, 2016

Read these articles the other day. A meeting later in the year between Tabal and PATAFA according to a source on Facebook.

As the arrangement according to the letter by PATAFA.

Was to give temporary membership until August 30.

To Tabal to allow her to participate in the Olympics. After that its open to negotiation between

Motor ace, Tabal, and PATAFA as long as Tabal will follow the guidelines and instructions of PATAFA.

Pinoyathletics is waiting to hear the other side of the story. As last time PATAFA told us to ask them for the there side also.

Well, now we are asking them?

For an official statement from PATAFA management to clarify this matter and what happens now?

are there going to be negotiations?

is it true Tabal has to change coach and move to Manila?

Article from Sunstar Cebu

Can’t catch a break. Coming home after her stint in the Olympics, Mary Joy Tabal finds herself losing her slot in the national team, via email from Patafa president Phillip Ella Juico.

Tabal has kept it under wraps for weeks until PSC commissioner Mon Fernandez made it public yesterday. (Sun.Star Photo/Alex Badayos)

MARY Joy Tabal’s status in the national team is in hot water anew after the Philippine Athletics and Track and Field Association (Patafa) issued a “letter of release” to the Cebuana marathoner.
Tabal confirmed to reporters yesterday that she has received an email from Patafa, the national sports association for track and field in the country, last Aug. 31.  
“Yes it’s true. But right now I’ll choose not to comment on the issue yet. We’re going to release an official statement,” said Tabal, during the opening ceremony of the 21st Milo Little Olympics Visayas Regional Finals yesterday.  
The news broke when Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Ramon Fernandez posted it on Facebook. “Rio Olympic Marathon finisher Mary Joy Tabal was just given her walking papers by Phillip Juico of the Patafa as of Aug. 30,” he wrote.  
In a separate interview, Jonel Borromeo of Motor Ace Philippines, Tabal’s major corporate backer, were not surprised by the letter. He clarified that although there was a letter it was not an issue as they were expecting it.  
“Tabal joined the Olympics and we agreed with Patafa that on her return, we will discuss the process.
We have not discussed the concerns with Patafa yet because she rested after her Olympic stint.
We are looking to meet with Patafa again and discuss the arrangements and I’m sure that she will be reinstated once we sit and discuss. It’s a matter of weighing all the options,” he said.  
The 27-year-old Tabal needs to be part of the PHL team to join big events like the Southeast Asian (SEA Games) next year, Asian Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.   
Tabal was reinstated by Patafa to the national team last June after she qualified for the Olympics. She had a short stint in the national team in 2015 and won a silver medal at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.  
Tabal was the first Filipina marathoner to qualify and finish the Olympics. She clocked 3 hours 2 minutes and 27 seconds in Rio, Brazil and was the 124th female marathoner to finish.
About 20 marathoners did not finish.
The native of Barangay Guba, Cebu City. Is aiming to represent the country again in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
And with the letter of release from Patafa, that dream gets a little bit blurry.

Tabal misses out on the Olympic Standard

Apr 24, 2016

Tabal on Heartbreak Hill
(Photo Credit: Jeff Philips)

Cebu’s pride Mary Joy Tabal 2016 Rio Olympic Journey ended at the Boston Marathon.

The 27-year-old SEA Games Silver Medalist in this event fell six seconds short of the Olympic qualifying mark registering 2.49.01.

Tabal finished 20th in the women’s event. Heart Break Hill proved too difficult for Tabby this time.

Even more alarming was the performance of Rafael ‘Master Endurance’ Poliquit who was just two seconds faster than Tabal with a 2.47.16 run and placed 277th int he male category.

Poliquit who did not finish at the SEA Games, then came back to win the Milo Marathon is still in the hunt for a good performance.

“To be honest, I am really disappointed with my performance because I could have done so much better. I felt that I prepared myself well, and I was very positive, but I started feeling cramps in my quads after the first half. The pain was getting worse that I was about to stop, even the marshals wanted me to stop,” said Tabal. (Phil Star)

Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa won in 2:29.19, and Lemi Berhanu Hayle won the men’s.

Results Here


Tabby breaks the Half Marathon record of the great Cristabel Martes

Apr 6, 2016 Andrew Pirie ATFS StatisticianSEA Games Silver medalist Mary Joy Tabal, 26 clocked a new personal best of 1:18.44 in the Half Marathon.

This mark also subjects to ratification breaks the Pinoyathletics National Record of 1:18.46 held by ‘The Great’ Cristabel Martes. From Angkor Cambodia on the 03.12.2000. Martes was the SEA Games 2001 and 2005 SEA Games and one of her idols.  

Tabal entered the race expecting a trial workout and delighted to break her personal best.

She ran at the Adachi Goshikizakura Half Marathon in Japan. It was a significant improvement on her best for Tabal whose previous best of 1:19.36 at the Great Eastern in Singapore last year. 

Tabal who went independent of the PATAFA after SEA Games. Preparing in Japan sponsored by Motor Ace, ASICS, and Milo among other private companies.

Not to forget the hard work and very scientific approach of her longtime hard-working coach John Philip Duenas. Its a positive feeling for Tabal, whose next meet will be in Boston in a month.

She is aiming for the 2016 Rio Olympic qualification the standard was 2h42 but then it was made a more achievable 2h45.00 in the last 6 months by the IAAF.

Her best is 2h48.00 from 2013 Milo Marathon she ran 2h48.16 in wet miserable conditions in the 2015 Milo Marathon at Clark in December.

As of now, Eric Cray is the only athlete qualified for Olympics in Athletics, Tabal is the closest qualifier in the females based on performance in her event. Tabby  

Philippines’ Mary Joy Tabal went one better at this year’s Hong Kong Marathon to seal the Women’s Half Marathon Challenge in the pouring rain. Photos: Nora Tam


Tabby takes Half Marathon in Hong Kong

Jan 17, 2016


SEA Games Marathon Silver Medalist Mary Joy Tabal, 26 took the win at the Hong KongChartered Marathon 21K in a time of 1:21.41 ahead of Taiwan’s You Ya-jyun (1:22.46) and Shino Asada of Japan (1:24.27)


“I started behind the elite runners but knew in these wet conditions I had to get to them quickly,” said Tabal. “Once I did, I just thought to myself ‘run as fast as you can’.”

“At the start it was so challenging because I was so cold,” she said. “But I had a good pace from start to finish and once I got to the lead – even though I was feeling so cold – that was it.

I overcame that – I’m just not used to the cold and the rain –and I won. I just told myself to relax and to get to the lead.”


Tabal was runner-up in this event last year to Australian Ellie O’Kane last year.

It was outside her best of 1.19.32  at the Singapore 2015 Great Eastern Marathon.

Tabal who hails from Cebu opted to skip the Cebu Marathon on January 17.

To concentrate on the Hong Kong Marathon. She was the Cebu Marathon champion last year.

Tabal is focusing on the Olympic Qualifying standard which was reduced from 2h42 to 2h45 recently by the IAAF.

Her personal best is 2.48.00 set in the 2013 Milo Finals, she clocked 2.48.16 recently in very wet and slippery conditions in Clark to win her third Marathon crown in 2015.

She is focusing on the Boston Marathon slated April 18th. Undoubtedly this will represent her last chance to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics with the closing date of entries set by the IAAF as July 11. The Rio Olympics will be in August.


“Hopefully, I can do good,” she said. “I actually prefer the marathon and to represent the Philippines at the Olympics would be a dream come true for me. I am feeling strong but I just have to improve my endurance.”


Tabal is an independent athlete and not currently a member of the Philippine Track and Field Association.  




Tabby Files

Marathon Results: PB for Tabal

Nov 8, 2015

mary joy tabal

The Philippines sent three women to compete in the Great Eastern Marathon in Singapore Marina Bay November 1. Mary Joy Tabal of Cebu self-funded and Mary Grace Delos Santos & Cristabel Martes were funded via PATAFA/PSC.

Tabal the Milo Marathon Queen and Record Holder clocked 1:19.35 to break her personal best in the Half Marathon of her previous best were 1:19.37 at the Seoul International last October in Korea.

The Olympic Standard is 2h43 which Tabal has until July 11, 2016, to aim for.

Her current PB from 2013 Milo Marathon December is 2h48.00 which is also the Milo Marathon Record.

Mary Grace Delos Santos finished sixth and Martes eighth.

A North Korean won in an exceptional time of 1:12.52 which is exceptional due to the hardships of this country to still produce world-class athletes.


I’m thankful to Jonel Borromeo of MotorAce for supporting us in this event. It was two weeks before the race when we got the confirmation from the organizers but despite the short notice, he (Borromeo) still provided the plane ticket, hotel accommodation and allowance for me just to experience this race, which is one of the best runs in Asia, said Tabal.


Tabal said that the organizers invited Asian countries to send two women elite runners to the race with free accommodation and fare from the organizers. The Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) selected Martes and Delos Santos as representatives.

I wanted to join the race so I sent an e-mail to the organizers and two weeks before the event I received a confirmation from them,” added Tabal. “I’m so grateful to the organizers for giving me the opportunity to join their event.


Tabal credited her training with long-time coach John Philip Dueñas for getting a new personal record.


We are in the midst of our training for the national finals. But when we got the confirmation in Singapore I tapered for one week for it,” Tabal said.


The former Southwestern University stalwart is gunning for her third straight title in the Milo Marathon National Finals next month.  


Top 10 – 21.1KM Elite Category

RankBib No.NameCountryGun Time
116Kim Ju HyangNorth Korea01:12:52.52
210Yuko WatanabeJapan01:16:00.25
317Sin Yong SunNorth Korea01:17:05.9
46Mary Joy TabalPhilippines01:19:35.48
511Misaki NishidaJapan01:22:10.63
68Mary Grace DelosPhilippines01:23:43.22
714Chien-Ho HsiehTaiwan01:26:09.33
87Christabel MartesPhilippines01:26:43.85
919Weerakkody Dhammika MalkanthiSri Lanka01:28:20.17
105Vivian TangSingapore01:28:36.45




January 2015

Kicking off was Milo Record Holder and Back to Back Milo Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal. Better known as ‘Tabby’.

The 25-year-old Tabby who hails from Cebu is the only Filipina qualified for the SEA Games in the Marathon (Bronze medal standard).

She made an annual appearance again at the Cebu Half Marathon defending her title easily at 1:22.

Which was outside her personal best of 1:19.37 at the Seoul International last October.

PATAFA had registered Tabby in the Full Marathon in Hong Kong.

But she begged off as this meet was only one month after the Milo Marathon Finals.

Tabal had clocked 17:55 at a 5k Trial on January 4 leading up to this meet.

The next stop for Tabby is the Los Angeles International Marathon in March.

It’s unlikely she will participate at the National Open championships.

One must also admire the loyalty of Tabby who stated that she will only join the National Team if she can continue training with a long-time coach and Triathlete Philip Duenas.



  1. tabbyBanayag, Tabby, and Grace.

Meanwhile, another SEA Games Qualifier (Marathon) Mary Joy Tabal (Tabby) helped herself to the Condura Half Marathon title in 1:21.03.

Well ahead of her long-time rival and former multiple Milo Marathon Queen Mary Grace Delos Santos 1:25.35, 2009 SEA Games Marathon Champion Jhoann Banayag was third in 1:29.30.

The Men’s Marathon local division was won by Rafael ‘Master Endurance’ Poliquit in 2:35.56.


Meanwhile, Mary Joy Tabal was just outside her personal best with a time of 1:20:37 in the Marathon placing second behind an Australian.

Tabal is preparing for the SEA Games Women’s Marathon in Singapore.

*This is not a media release, the only information that can this is not unique to this article may be used. Please refer to copyright information.

NB. Guessing Game

Picks for Tabal time in HK Marathon (January) actual 1.20.37
  1. 1.23 enzo
  2. 1.25 ojon
  3. 1.30 Maulas
  4. 1.31 Dodong 


Bertek actual 2.24
  1. 2.20 Dodong 2
  2. 2.29 dodong
  3. 2.31 Maulas
  4. 2.34 enzo
  5. 2.35 ojon


Tabby clocks a new Personal Best in Seoul Half Marathon


    Oct 14, 2014
  1. Tabby Files
    Tabby was helped by 711 and Asics with the trip to Korea were she won the gold.


Mary Joy Tabal ‘Tabby’, broke her personal best for Half Marathon with a run of 1:19.37 to win the Seoul Invitational Marathon over the weekend.

 Tabby improved on her previous best 1:21.44 in the Cebu Marathon last year.

Tabal is the Record Holder of the Milo Marathon having broken the National Record of Jhoann Banayag the 2009 SEA Games Champion (2h48.00) this time was good enough to beat the SEA Games Bronze medal standard of 2013 (2h49.01).

According to another former SEA Games Marathon Champion (2001 and 2005) and National Record Holder Cristabel Martes believes Tabal has what it takes to become SEA Games champion.

“My best time is 1:17 and I ran 2:38 for the Marathon, I believe Tabal can run 2:44 even 2:40 ith good training” said the 34 year old Martes who won several Milo Marathon titles.

The Last SEA Games were won in 2:45.34 by Pham Thi Binh of Vietnam.  Tabby is one of two likely gold medal contenders in the women along with Marestella Torres in the Long Jump.


Olympic Dreams

Tabby Files
Mary Joy Tabal and friends

She recorded a gap of nearly 7 minutes versus Lee Geum-bok, who ranked second. Tabal, who is majoring in public administration at Southwestern University in Cebu, the Philippines, is about 8 minutes behind the Korean record (1:11:14) in women’s half marathon. She displayed so dominant a race far exceeding the level of an amateur runner that Lee even said, “Isn’t Tabal an elite runner?”

Tabal is an enthusiastic runner who has practiced for three hours every morning and more than one hour in the afternoon every day.

She ran her third half-marathon event in Seoul after runs in Paris and Tokyo.

“Because I like Seoul, I really wanted to participate in a race in Korea, in which I can witness scenery and mood in Seoul,” Tabal said. “I will never forget throughout my life from the moment I arrived in Seoul last Friday to this moment when I am standing on the victory stand.”

When asked about her goal for the future, Tabal revealed her ambitious plan. “My next goal is to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” Tabal said. “The Seoul Race has provided a motivation to achieve my dream,” she said with a smile.


This would be a real achievement for Tabby as the ‘B’ Standard is 2:43 for the Olympic Games.

Tabal at 25 is a relatively young Marathoner with leg speed being a huge advantage, having moved up and shifted from sprints to Marathons under the watchful guidance of coach and triathlete Philip Duenas. She has around 10 more competitive years as a Marathoner.

Tabby’s Turn, Milo Marathon 2013

Mary Joy Tabal set a new course record of 2h48.00 to break the milo marathon record of Jhoann Banayag set in 2006.

The 24-year-old Tabal known as ‘Tabby’ was runner up last year to Mary Grace Delos Santos who has won the last 2 years (2h48.16). Tabal who is based in Cebu is coached by Philip Duenas.

In a recent race 21km in Malaysia Tabal finished second behind Mary Grace, however this time it was Tabby’s turn as she took her first national title in the Marathon.

Kenyan Margaret Njugana was the overall winner in 2h42.18. Delos Santos was third in 2h54.27

After winning the women’s 5000m at the National Games but then being passed over in the training pool selections for athletics Tabby now certain to make a solid case now for selection into the athletics team.

Tabby is Queen of the Road

4 August 2013.


Apologies for the late update. This event was on July 7, 2013. We have undergone major upgrades to our site and been busy with other duties.


After taking her first national title on the track with a Gold at the National Games in the 5km run.

Mary Joy Tabal ‘Tabby’ took a bigger scalp this time over long-time rival and 2x National Milo Marathon Champion Mary Grace Delos Santos. Tabal won the 16.8 km edition of King of the Road.

The 24-year-old Tabal who is hoping for a spot in the national training pool, and will focus on the 10km run is based in Cebu. Former training pool athlete and veteran road runner Nhea Ann Bharcena was third.

Meanwhile in the Men’s Distance National Marathon Record Holder and veteran Eduardo Buenavista got the better of National 5k and 10k Champion Rafael Poliquit.

Poliquit held off Buenavista in a thrilling blanket finish at the National Games to claim his first national title.

Adidas King of the Road is only for Philippine Residents, foreigners are invited but will not be given prizes.

This is the official website 


Road Running Philippines Results Selected

16.8k Women:

  1. Mary Joy Tabal 1:07.47
  2. Mary Grace Delos Santos 1:09.16
  3. Nheanne Bharcena 1:12.47

16.8k Men

  1. Eduardo Buenavista 54:24
  2. Rafael Poliquit 54:34

10k Women

  1. Flordeliza Donos 39:16


Full Race results here

Road Running Philippines Tabby Joy (Tabal) wins Timex Run

(Aug 19, 2012) Cebuana Mary Joy Tabal won the 16k in the Timex Run-Cebu with the time of 1:05.55.

Finishing ahead of Joery Lee 1:13.29, with triathlete Amale-Mendenoza Jopson in third 1:21.16.

Tabal is one of the countries promising upcoming distance runners. Tabal took the silver medal at 18:29.70 at the 2011 PNG behind the 2009 SEA Games Marathon Champion Jhoann Banayag.

Tabby who began off as a 59 second 400m sprinter before quickly moving up to the longest distances has taken the past year off-track meets but did participate in the 2012 PRISAA.

Her focus is mainly on the half marathon distance range where she represented the Philippines in Singapore in June. Tabal has registered 1:24.31 in a Half Marathon (21k) at Camarines Sur last year and 3:08.38 in the Marathon in 2010.

Another more established runner originally from Zamboanga living in Cebu Mary Grace Delos Santos who ran personal bests to claim two silver medals at the PNG in the 5k (17:44.85) (close race), and 10k (37:49.36) easily won the women’s 10k in 39 minutes and 52 seconds. Lovely Andlin was second at 42:27, and Kisha Mae Delechos was third at 44:51.

The Men’s 16k was won by Kenyan Douglas Mwiti (54:50). His Kenyan team-mate Abraham Missos won the 10k (34:05) ahead of Cebu’s Mendel Lopez (34:57), Lopez ran a personal best of 15:23.85 last year in Singapore representing the Philippines but has not featured much at all this year on the track.

More results and details here




Mary Joy Tabal amazing articles under 1 roof 68