08/03/2018
FWD Group returns as title sponsor of the North Pole Marathon for 2018
2018 marks the second year of FWD’s title sponsorship and the first region-wide participation by FWD in the North Pole Marathon

Hong Kong, 8 March 2018 – FWD Group (“FWD”) today announced its title sponsorship and region-wide participation for the FWD North Pole Marathon 2018, the world’s coolest marathon.

Taking place on 9 April, the race will see FWD sponsor 11 runners across Asia featuring both disabled and amateur athletes who will showcase their passion and determination to take on extreme challenges and embrace the experience of a lifetime. Ahead of the highly-anticipated race, a number of runners will also be raising funds for charity whilst sharing their inspiration for participating in one of the world’s most challenging and physically demanding events.

Tim Oliver, FWD Group Chief Commercial Officer said, “We are delighted to once again see the FWD North Pole Marathon come to life in 2018. Through FWD’s sponsorship and protection, we look forward to following the stories of our runners from around Asia as they prepare for this extreme challenge and ultimately conquer the world’s coolest marathon.”

“Our FWD Team Asia will be supporting and fundraising for disabled charities as part of our community care focus to empower people with disabilities across Asia. Our belief at FWD is that everyone should embrace the opportunity to pursue their passions and live life without hesitation.”

All participants will make a 10 day trip from April 2 to 12 to help them acclimatise and train in sub-zero temperatures to prepare for the harsh conditions of the North Pole. As part of FWD’s sponsorship, each participant will receive a comprehensive health check tailored for athletes, as well as insurance cover which includes travel insurance and individual accidental insurance so runners can focus on preparing for running on the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean in the northern most marathon on earth.

Details of FWD-sponsored participants in the North Pole Marathon:

Hong Kong
  • Gi, Ka Man, local celebrity runner, is a national record holder for half-marathon, 5000m and 3000m in Hong Kong. He is an experienced middle-to-long distance runner as well as the founder and head coach of the Hong Kong Running Club. He has competed and finished in the top three in numerous marathons and half marathons in Hong Kong.
  • Chik, Wing Keung is an experienced runner and FWD agent, who completed the World Marathon Challenge, "7 Marathons 7 Continents 7 Days", and will be participating in the North Pole Marathon for the second time.
  • Leung, Siu Wai holds the best record in the visually impaired category for 20km, half marathon, and full marathon in Hong Kong. He was the first visually impaired runner to complete the Antarctic 100km Super Marathon, where he placed sixth in 2017.
The Hong Kong team will be fundraising for the Hong Chi Association and Special Olympics.

Indonesia
  • Fedi Fianto is a digital marketing consultant who has completed two IRONMAN challenges amongst a succession of marathon finishes across Asia, such as the World Major Marathon Series in Tokyo, the Bali Marathon and Spartan Beast Malaysia. Fedi will fundraising for the Special Olympics.
Japan
  • Izuoka Misaki is a model from Japan who has competed in eight half and full marathons around the world. Passionate about raising funds for charity, Izu donated all the profits made from selling T-shirts she had created to those affected by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
  • Kyo Satani is a businessman hailing from Tokyo and is a fundraising marathon finisher who created the Cial-Thon, a social marathon, in 2012 which has been held in more than 50 cities and 80 times. In 2011 he took part in an ultramarathon, “Ultra Cial-Thon”, to help raise funds following the great east Japan earthquake.
Philippines
  • Luisito “Louie” Sangalang II is a cancer survivor and an advocate of healthy nutrition and active lifestyles among Filipinos. Louie is a triathlete of SanteBarley Triathlon Team and a former Featherweight Champion of Universal Reality Combat Championships. The Special Olympics is Louie’s advocacy partner.
Singapore
  • Md Shariff Abdullah, otherwise known as “Singapore’s Blade Runner”, was born without a left foot and runs with an Ossur Flex Run Blade. He has participated in marathons and ultra-marathons including the Boston Marathon, making him the first Blade Runner in Asia to qualify and compete. Shariff will be fundraising for the Special Olympics.
Vietnam
  • Tang Nguyet Minh, mother, fashionista and Instagram celebrity, believes running helps her find balance in life and as soon as she found her passion in running she completed her first full marathon with only 1.5 months of training. Minh has not only inspired her two kids to complete a marathon but also seeks to inspire others through TV interviews.
Rest of Asia
  • Ben Scully works in product development and is an experienced marathon runner based in China. He has participated in 36 marathons including New York, Boston, Paris and the Great Wall as well as 12 ultra-marathons. Even with his busy work schedule as a senior management professional, Ben still finds time to run and train for marathons. Ben will be fundraising for Humanity & Inclusion.
  • Todd Latta also works in product development and is also an experienced marathon runner based in Taiwan. He completed his first Olympic distance triathlon in 1987 and has completed many (ultra) marathons. He believes that even with demanding jobs, people should find time to be active to achieve a healthy and sustainable life. Todd will be fundraising for Humanity & Inclusion.

FWD sponsored a number of elite runners for the 2017 FWD North Pole Marathon to great success. Bhim Bahadur Gurung and Samir Tamang, two Nepalese trail runners, who raised funds for their hometowns, came second and third respectively in the Men’s Marathon. Chan Ka-ho from Hong Kong came in fourth behind his team-mates while compatriot and former Hong Kong Olympics Track Team member, Christy Yiu Kit-ching, finished third in the Women’s Marathon.

With the FWD team taking first place in the team competition, each of the participants expressed their pride in having completed the marathon successfully, given the many first-time challenges that they had to overcome, including running a marathon on ice and uneven snow at a latitude of 89° North while enduring temperatures averaging -40℃.


FWD North Pole Marathon 2018 Timetable
1 Apr Arrive Tromso, Norway (Adapt to cold weather, rest, and practice)
4 Apr Arrive Svalbard
7 Apr Pre-race departure briefing by race organizer)
8 Apr Fly to North Pole
16 Apr FWD North Pole Marathon
17 Apr Return to Svalbard
18 Apr Free to return home

Charities being supported by #FWDTeamAsia

Market Charity
Group Handicap International (fundraising)
Hong Kong Hong Chi Association and Special Olympics (fundraising)
Philippines Special Olympics (advocacy partner)
Singapore Special Olympics (fundraising)
Indonesia Special Olympics (fundraising)
- Ends -


About FWD Group

FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan, offering life and medical insurance, general insurance and employee benefits across a number of its markets.

FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology. Through this customer-led approach, FWD aims to become a leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.

Established in Asia in 2013, FWD is the insurance business of investment group, Pacific Century Group.

For more information please visit WWW.FWD.COM

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