Arctic achievement, as Pinoy cancer survivor finishes North Pole marathon

Louie Sangalang has faced great adversity before and won, and he brought the same winning mentality in a race like no other.


Louie Sangalang has faced great adversity before and won, and he brought the same winning mentality in a race like no other.

Sangalang completed the 42-kilometer FWD North Pole Marathon on Monday, becoming the first Filipino to do so.

He finished the race in 11 hours and 4 minutes.

Sangalang, a triathlon enthusiast and former mixed martial arts champion who also survived cancer, ran a ruggedly icy terrain amid temperatures that dropped to 32 degrees below zero.

In a press conference in February, he said it was an honor to represent the country in the competition.

“I’m quite excited because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I'm happy to represent the country,” said Sangalang, who was treated for cancer of the appendix back in the 2000s.

He said his experience with the illness has strengthened him and encouraged him to take up sports.

After successfully battling cancer, he took up mixed martial arts and became a URCC featherweight champion at one point. Later on, he took up long-distance running and eventually became a triathlete.

“The challenge I've faced with cancer actually toughened me up. So everytime I'm faced with a challenge like this particular race, I always think there's nothing harder than undergoing the treatments, they're not easy and they take a toll on your body,” said Sangalang. 

“I'm not going to say na sisiw ito, but it's easier than what I've gone through.”

News Source: ABS-CBN News