Hong Kong, 18 April 2018 – The FWD Team Asia, a group of 11 runners from across the pan-Asian region sponsored by FWD, successfully completed the FWD North Pole Marathon 2018, the world’s coolest marathon.
With a minor delay due to the unsettled weather near the Arctic Circle, the FWD North Pole Marathon 2018 took place on 15 April, and started at 23:00 Norwegian time, which saw 62 runners from across 23 countries and regions enduring temperatures averaging -30℃.
Tim Oliver, FWD Group Chief Commercial Officer said, “We are so very proud of the FWD Team Asia who challenged themselves in the extreme arctic weather conditions. Such an undertaking is very inspiring for anyone. It takes real perseverance and courage to complete such an event braving sub-zero temperatures on uneven ice terrain, while wearing multiple layers of clothing, not forgetting it is where polar bears live, is a fabulous achievement for everyone who took part.”
Gary Leung, a runner from the Hong Kong Blind Sports Federation, became the first visually impaired Asian athlete to complete the North Pole Marathon. He was guided by another Hong Kong runner Andy Chik, Regional Director of FWD Hong Kong’s tied agency who successfully completed his second North Pole Marathon.
Ken Lau, Managing Director of Greater China and Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer, FWD, expressed, “We feel very delighted with the achievement of the FWD Team Asia, and are particularly impressed by Hong Kong runners GI Ka-man, Gary Leung and Andy Chik who demonstrated the never give up spirit of Hong Kong people. All the participants have demonstrated our brand promise of ‘celebrate living’ by taking part and all have achieved a terrific result by completing the course.”
Gi Ka-man said, “FWD North Pole Marathon is definitely an extraordinary challenge to a runner’s physical and mental strength. Before departing from Hong Kong, my goal was to complete the race safely. Crossing that finish line was an unforgettable moment for a runner. Despite the freezing weather and tough environment, I thankfully managed to complete the marathon and achieved a good result. I want to share this unique experience with my students, and the public, to encourage them to always pursue their life goals.”
Gary Leung said, “It is an honour and great privilege to set foot on the North Pole, not to mention participating in the polar marathon. I want to thank FWD and my teammate Andy who helped make my dreams come true. Without Andy keeping me alert with the route and the environment during the race, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the marathon. I hope my experience can motivate the public, and especially the disabled community, to overcome limitations and live life to the fullest.”
Andy Chik said, “I knew that the North Pole Marathon was not going to be an easy experience, yet Gary and I were happy to take this extreme challenge. I am glad that I was able to lend my experience from last year’s race to guide Gary through the marathon. Gary’s running skills and positive spirit also inspired me to keep on running. It has been an absolutely remarkable experience for me.”
Run and Raised Funds for People in Need
In addition to the runners’ participation and achievements, the Hong Kong public also showed great support with over 1,000 people participated in FWD Hong Kong’s #IAmWhatICan campaign. FWD Hong Kong will donate HK$100,000 in total to Hong Chi Association and the Special Olympics Hong Kong.
Ken added, “We are extremely proud of the Hong Kong people who supported our charitable cooperation and converted their running miles into empowerment for people in need to pursue their passions.”