5 March 2019, Manila, Philippines
– FWD Life Philippines, one of the fastest-growing insurers in the country, is pleased to announce FWD’s sponsorship of the “FWD North Pole Marathon” – which will be held on 9th April 2019 – for the third time. As a title sponsor for the ‘World’s Coolest Marathon’, FWD will also support this year’s representative to embrace the challenge at the extreme 89° latitude North.
Joyette Jopson: Fearless Filipina amongst Team Asia
At a media event held on March 5 launching FWD Philippines’ “Fearless in the Arctic” campaign, FWD introduced its representative runner, Joyette Jopson—triathlete, 2014 Ironman 70.3 Philippines Filipino Elite Champion, and FWD Financial Wealth Officer. Jopson will be flying to the northernmost point on Earth to represent the Philippines in the forthcoming FWD North Pole Marathon.
“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,” said 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.”
Jopson will be joined by FWD representative runners from Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand, collectively called FWD Team Asia, as well as runners from around the world, in what is dubbed as one of the world’s most challenging and grueling sporting events.
“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 added. “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.”
“As an FWD Financial Wealth Officer, I take to heart our mission to take care of our customers’ financial future and change the way people feel about insurance,” Jopson said. “I am truly grateful to have been chosen to represent FWD and the Philippines in the North Pole Marathon as this really will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me! Inspired by the FWD’s Get Ready to Live brand spirit, I will bring with me relentless courage and determination against the world’s harshest conditions as I aim to make my country proud.”
Conquering the World’s Coolest—and Toughest—Marathon
The FWD North Pole Marathon 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.
What makes the marathon unique is that it is run on a small 4.22-kilometer (2.62-mile) loop about 10 times, over hard snow or ice. The marathon is recognized by the Association of International Marathons & Distance Races (AIMS) and is the only certified marathon that is run entirely on the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean.
The North Pole Marathon has also been recognized by Guinness World Records as the "Northernmost Marathon on Earth" and is generally considered one of the toughest marathons ever because the runners do not only contend with their own physical limitations, but also with the freezing temperature, the biting wind, and the snow-filled path.
The 39-year-old Jopson has been joining local and international triathlon events for the last 13 years. She is a three-time Filipino Elite Champion and has won multiple championship triathlon titles. Committed to continuing the recent trend of Filipina athletes succeeding in international sports competitions, Jopson has already started training for her North Pole challenge.
“Joyette has rigorously trained in running, cycling, and swimming and has all the traits needed to succeed at the race,” FWD Life Philippines Head of Marketing Roche Vandenberghe said. “She also has the heart of a warrior—having won in several athletic competitions here and abroad—who plans to bring her courage and winning spirit to the 2019 FWD North Pole Marathon.”