Joyette Jopson Blazes In Victory At The North Pole Marathon

A few weeks ago, we bid good luck to Joyette Jopson on her journey going to the North Pole.  A Triatlete, and Ironman Champion, and most of all a FWD Financial Wealth Officer, she was the perfect candidate to represent FWD Philippines, women, and the country to one of the most challenging marathons on earth. She trained long and hard with the help of her "squad" that includes mountaineer Romi Garduce,  and Asian Games Gold Medalist Margielyn Didal. 

The 42-kilometer FWD ‘78° North’ Marathon was held near the North Pole on April 16  at Longyearbyen, Svalbard located in the north most island group of Norway. It is known for its rugged, remote terrain of glaciers and frozen tundra sheltering polar bears, Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes. She joins the FWD Team Asia  that comprises of members coming from Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Jopson becomes the first Filipina to run a marathon in the Arctic, enduring the freezing temperatures of  in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, just 1,050 kilometers away from the North Pole. Jopson—triathlete, 2014 Ironman 70.3 Philippines Filipino Elite Champion, and—completed the race with an impressive time of 4 hours, 10 minutes, and 59 seconds—claiming a first-place finish in the women’s category and third overall.

Jopson’s participation was sponsored by FWD Life Insurance (“FWD Philippines”), one of the fastest growing insurance companies in the country. She was the lone Philippine representative in the marathon and was joined by FWD Team Asia runners from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand in the marathon, sponsored by pan-Asian insurer FWD Group (“FWD”). Powering through the challenges 

There were also challenges for FWD which has been supporting the annual North Pole Marathon or also known as the ‘world’s coolest marathon’ for the third year in a row. However, the marathon was cancelled at the last minute because of geopolitical tensions between the Russian and Ukrainian administrations regarding flight plans to the North Pole. However, they found a way for the marathon experience for the FWD Team Asia runners who were already in Svalbard. They arranged their own run called the FWD ‘78°North’ Marathon

"We ran on a mix of ice and roads covered with ice which was very slippery. I learned that you can overheat even in cold races so I had to take out a layer on top and bottom because I got uncomfortable after 10 kilometers. After the race, it took me more than an hour to warm up because it was really freezing.”  she shared.

“In spite of the challenges, I am delighted to have brought the Filipino pride to the Arctic through the FWD 78° North Marathon and of course, I am even much happier to have performed well, placing first in the women’s category,” added Joyette. “I’d like to thank FWD for the opportunity to represent both the company and the country in this once-in-a-lifetime experience!”  

FWD Philippines President and Chief Executive Peter Grimes congratulated Joyette for successfully completing the marathon. “We’re very proud of what Joyette has accomplished. Her experience as a triathlete and her sheer determination to succeed despite the challenges along the way indeed makes her the perfect representative for the Philippines,” Peter said. 

“How she pushed on and performed excellently despite the uncertainties and sudden changes was truly admirable. At FWD, we’re all about celebrating life and doing your best no matter what life throws at you,” Peter added. Displaying grit and resilience amidst uncertainty  

“FWD successfully arranged the marathon against all odds in three days, inviting all registered North Pole Marathon runners to take part,” FWD Philippines Head of Marketing Roche Vandenberghe said. “FWD Team Asia and other 2019 North Pole Marathon runners successfully completed the FWD ‘78° North’ Marathon, all of whom displayed grit and perseverance to rise above a maelstrom of climate and logistical challenges.”  

Now Joyette is at home and shares her inspiring experience. Her accomplishment is truly impressive, However since there was huge changes with the original marathon plans, we hope to see Joyette compete in another North Pole Marathon. Though it is still early to tell, her first time experience definitely gives her the advantage to conquer another "cool" run. 

About FWD Philippines 

FWD Life Insurance Corporation (“FWD Life”) is the first life insurance company licensed by the Insurance Commission of the Philippines under the new Insurance Code. FWD launched its commercial operations in September 2014. By March 2017, FWD Life is the highestcapitalized life insurer in the Philippines with PhP 2.3 billion in paid-up capitalization.

FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, and Malaysia, offering life and medical insurance, general insurance, employee benefits, Shariah, and Family Takaful products across a number of its markets. Established in Asia in 2013, FWD is the insurance business arm of investment group, Pacific Century Group. In the Philippines, FWD has 14 business hubs located in key cities nationwide with its headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. 

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. For more information, please visit   

1 Statistics 2017 > Based on Paid-Up Capital 

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