FWD will sponsor ten (10) runners from six (6) countries across Asia who will showcase their passion and determination to take on extreme challenges and embrace this experience of a lifetime, traversing the 42-kilometer path with an average temperature of -30 degrees centigrade. The North Pole Marathon is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the “Northernmost Marathon on Earth”.
FWD Philippines will be represented by Louie Sangalang, a multi-sport athlete who engages in mixed-martial arts, boxing, and triathlons. A proud cancer survivor, Louie was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix when he was 21. But instead of giving up, Louie—who has been in remission since 2000—turned to sports and was able to bounce back successfully.
“I want to inspire my fellow Filipinos with my story. This is why I’m running. I want them to feel empowered, that despite the many challenges that life throws, you can come back better and stronger with the right attitude,” said Sangalang. He will be joining other runners from all over the world, including representatives from other countries where FWD operates: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan.
"Louie's resilience in overcoming life’s challenges is one trait that resonates with Filipinos and this made him the perfect choice to represent the Philippines in the marathon," shared Peter Grimes, FWD Philippines President. "His inspiring story and his passion for sports, which he uses to inspire Filipinos to live an active lifestyle, also best represent what FWD stands for: pursuing one’s passions and celebrating life without hesitation. As such, FWD will be providing Louie with insurance protection so that he can embrace the North Pole Marathon challenge worry-free.”
To help Sangalang, FWD Philippines formed a North Pole Marathon squad who will support his mental, physical, and emotional preparations. Included in the squad are triathlon icon Ani De LeonBrown, who will collaborate with his personal trainer and coach Ige Lopez for Louie’s physical preparedness; mountain climber Romi Garduce, who will share his insights on surviving extreme weather conditions; Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and son Benjamin, who will provide emotional support and motivation; and sports enthusiast and funny man Sam YG, who will help keep the rigorous— sometimes stressful—training, lighthearted and fun(ny).
Marathon and campaign updates will regularly be made available via the official website: npmarathon.fwd.com.ph