FWD Team Asia Successfully Completes FWD ‘78° North’ Marathon in Extreme Weather Conditions

Hong Kong Runners Overcome All Odds to Achieve Excellent Results

Hong Kong, 19 April 2019 – Challenging the Polar region is never an easy task. Against all the odds, the FWD ‘78° North’ Marathon, organised by FWD Group, was successfully held on 16th April at Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway. Hong Kong's very own professional marathon runner Hard Tsui won the race by completing the marathon with an impressive result of 3 hours, 1 minute and 43 seconds. 

Hard said, "Using my past marathons as a guide, I set myself the target completion time of sub-three hours. It’s a little disappointing that my final time exceeded that by a minute or so, but I’m still happy. Although the temperature wasn't as low as the predicted -10 degrees during the race, it was still the toughest race I have ever run. I underestimated the change in temperature and took off my jacket before the race and felt like I was literally freezing from the fourth lap onwards. It was truly a precious experience."

The FWD ‘78° North’ Marathon officially kicked off on 16th April at 8am in Longyearbyen. Runners from different parts of the world participated in the race in the extreme climate. Three Hong Kong runners representing FWD Hong Kong successfully competed in the marathon. Overcoming the extreme weather and conditions, the FWD Hong Kong representative athletes ran with courage and perseverance. In addition to Hard Tsui's stunning achievement, compatriots Andy Leung, a local singer, and Annie Liu, a local actress completed the half-marathon in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 51 seconds, and 3 hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds respectively.

“The original North Pole Marathon was canceled but FWD was determined to not let the runners down,” said Paul Tse, Chief Marketing Officer of FWD Hong Kong & Macau. “To ensure runners did not return empty handed, FWD doubled its efforts to organise the FWD ‘78° North’ Marathon within the shortest possible period of time. It’s a perfect manifestation of our ‘Get Ready to Live’ spirit, where we can all pursue our life goals and seize every moment!”

Taking on the challenge in sub-zero temperatures, Annie Liu said, "This is my first half-marathon and certainly an unforgettable one. I’m very pleased with my result, as I thought I would need five hours to complete the race! I still remember vividly how I was almost blown away by the strong wind, and how hard I had to push to get myself back on track."

Andy Leung said, "The other runners were so fast. There was one Japanese competitor in front of me so he became my target. I had to call my colleague for help during the race, since I underestimated the weather.I It was much colder than I had anticipated and the wind was stronger than I could have ever imagined. The race was much tougher than I expected, but what an amazing experience!"

- Ends -

Results of FWD Team Asia’s runners in the FWD 78° North Marathon:

FWD-sponsored runners




Andy Leung (Hong Kong)




Annie Liu (Hong Kong)




Hard Tsui (Hong Kong)




Rob Schimek (FWD Group)




Phan Thanh Nhien (Vietnam)




Ittiphol Samutthong (Thailand)




Hideaki Ohno (Japan)  




Joyette Jopson (Philippines)




Misaki Izuoka (Japan)




Three Hong Kong runners representing FWD Hong Kong, namely Andy Leung, Annie Liu and Hard Tsui (from left to right), successfully competed in the FWD ‘78° North’ Marathon.

About FWD Hong Kong & Macau
FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia. In Hong Kong, FWD offers life and medical insurance, general insurance, employee benefits, and financial planning. The life insurance and general insurance operating entities have been assigned strong financial strength ratings by international rating agencies — FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited is rated “A3” by Moody’s and “A” by Fitch; and FWD General Insurance Company Limited is rated “A” by Fitch.

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.HK and WWW.FWD.COM.MO.

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