Filipina triathlete champion to represent Philippines in FWD North Pole marathon

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FWD Life Philippines, one of the fastest-growing insurers in the country, returns as title sponsor of the “FWD North Pole Marathon” for the third time.

“FWD is extremely proud to continue our support for this challenging and one-of-a-kind event, as it resonates our core values of empowering people to pursue their passions and explore a lifetime of limitless possibilities,” FWD Life Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes said.

“Moreover, as a Pan-Asian insurer, we are a strong supporter of Asian achievement, endurance, and excellence,” he added.

(AJ Press Photo by Godwin Gasacao)

A press launch held on Tuesday at the Picadilly Star Building in Bonifacio Global City revealed FWD will be sending off a Filipina runner for the first time to brave the challenge at the extreme 89° latitude North.

Triathlete champion Joyette Jopson who also works as FWD Financial Wealth Officer will be flying to the northernmost point on Earth to represent the country in the “World’s Coolest Marathon.”

She will be joined by FWD representative runners from Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand, as well as runners from around the globe.

“[It’s] always been a dream [of mine] to go the North Pole,” Jopson said.

(AJ Press Photo by Godwin Gasacao)

“To actually be able to go — running, which is something I really, really love — it’s really incredible. And I know it’s going to be an adventure of a lifetime. Who says no to that?” she added.

The FWD North Pole Marathon is considered as one of the world’s most challenging and grueling sporting events. Participants will be running on an ice sheet of 6 to 12 feet thick and above 12,000 feet of Arctic Ocean, literally on top of the world. They will be running a 42-kilometer path with an average temperature of negative 30 degrees centigrade, even going as low as negative 40 degrees centigrade at times.

“We chose Joyette as the Philippines’ representative to the FWD North Pole Marathon this year because of her indomitable spirit, something that will help her conquer the North Pole. As the first Filipina who is set to conquer the marathon, she will proudly bring both FWD and Filipino Pride to the world stage,” Grimes said.

Toasting of Wine, Joyette Jopson and FWD Financial Wealth Officers | AJ Press Photo by Godwin Gasacao

“Joyette has broken her own barriers as a triathlete, competing with the most experienced athletes in the world, and this is why we believe she is perfect to be the country’s representative this year,” he added.

The 39-year-old Filipina has been joining local and international triathlon events for the past 13 years. She is a three-time Filipino Elite Champion, which comprises Ironman 70.3 Philippines; Challenge Philippines; and XTERRA Philippines.

“I don’t like the cold too much,” Jopson admitted. “But to be able to do something great you need to get out of your comfort zone.”

“It’s my honor [to represent the Philippines],” she added.

The FWD North Pole Marathon is recognized by the Association of International Marathons & Distance Races (AIMS). It is the only certified marathon that is run entirely on the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean. It has also been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the “Northernmost Marathon on Earth.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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