Runners conquer the FWD North Pole Marathon 2018

An extraordinary running experience of a lifetime has been achieved!

April 16, 2018 marks another history for marathoners and runners alike as over 60 runners from 20 different countries joined and conquered the FWD North Pole Marathon, the race title-sponsored by Pan-Asian insurer, FWD Insurance.

Recognized as the “Northernmost Marathon on Earth” and dubbed, the “World's Coolest Marathon,” the race is an annual event held in North Pole (on the actual polar ice cap!), starting from Camp Barneo, a.k.a. North Pole Camp, and finishes at the Geographic North Pole (exactly 90˚N latitude). 

Runners traversed the shifting and frozen Arctic waters and braved the extreme -33° temperature, as well as the threatening wind chills, made worse by the deep, traitorous, uneven snow, slippery terrain, and the risk from polar bears – talk about an adventure of a lifetime!  

Against the worst underfoot conditions and wildest environment imaginable, a runner from Greece emerged victorious, topping over 46 other competitors. Argyrios Papathanasopoulos captured the first place for Men’s category, finishing the 42K race distance within 4 hours and 34 minutes. He has been hailed as the first Greek to finish the race. As with Women’s category, Chinese runner Guoping Xie finished first, clocking in 6 hours and 43 minutes to beat the others. Guoping is the first Chinese to win the FWD North Pole Marathon.

With the flags of the countries they each represent held in their hands and ice on their faces, one by one, runners reached the finish line falling to their knees in exhaustion and jumping up high in celebration of their truly amazing feat.  

The marathon is organized by Global Running Adventures, Inc., a group that aims to deliver world-class running experiences in the most challenging and remote locations on the planet. The initiative shares the same spirit with the FWD brand, the perfect embodiment of the #GetReadyToLive mantra, of staying true to your passions, saying yes to every adventure, and living life to the fullest. It’s no surprise that FWD Life Insurance title-sponsored the highly-anticipated marathon in 2017 and consequently became known as the FWD North Pole Marathon.

FWD chose a set of elite runners from its Asian markets (offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines) to take on the North Pole challenge and formed a collective team dubbed as FWD Team Asia. The brave representatives, coming from all walks of life and circumstances, claimed the honor of conquering the most challenging running experience of their lifetime. True enough, it isn’t about who came first but, rather, it’s about finishing the summer’s most epic adventure yet.