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The biggest field in the sixteen-year history of the race took part in 2018 edition of the FWD North Pole Marathon, the world's coolest marathon.
The marathon began on April 15th in temperatures of -33C at a floating ice camp at the Geographic North Pole. The sixty marathon competitors and two half-marathoners, in addition to two dogs, set out on a testing multi- loop course under blue skies and the constant daylight that prevails at this time of year.
For the first time ever, there was a Greek winner of the men's race when Argyrios Papathanasopoulos successfully held off the challenge of Moldova's Dmitri Voloshin and Australia's David Field to take the title in a winning time of 4:34.36 hrs. In the women's race, Guoping Xie, a runner-up in the 2017 World Marathon Challenge (7 Marathons 7 Continents 7 Days), became the first Chinese winner of the event in a time of 6:43.20 hrs. The 2016 Antarctic Ice Marathon champion, Joanna Medras (POL), finished second with Romania's Adriana Istrate, the 2014 Antarctic 100km winner, in third place.
Guided blind athlete Siu Wai Leung (HKG) successfully completed the men's marathon, the third blind person ever to do so, and MD Shariff Abdullah (SIN) completed a half marathon despite having a prosthetic leg. Meanwhile, Paul Grealish (IRL) completed a record sixth North Pole Marathon.
Indeed, all runners successfully completed their respective events with many joining the Grand Slam Club by completing a marathon on all 7 continents and the North Pole. Furthermore, two Norwegian dogs, Blue and Duro, completed the full marathon distance with their human companion, Marcus Fillinger (AUS).
Prior to the marathon race, Irish elite sub 4-miler Paul Robinson ran the fastest mile ever at the North Pole in a time of 4 minutes 50.9 seconds, following on his amazing record of 4 minutes 17.9 seconds in Antarctica in November.
The 2018 FWD North Pole Marathon was dedicated to Alexander Orlov, who had been responsible for the drifting North Pole ice base from 2002 until he passed away last year.
FWD is a rapidly expanding pan-Asian company, a pioneer in the insurance industry, offering one-of-a-kind products that enable customers to pursue their goals with much greater confidence than before.
With businesses spanning Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, FWD offers a new kind of customer experience. Its products are easy to understand yet sophisticated in nature, supported by leading digital technologies.
Through this unique and challenging marathon -- the FWD North Pole Marathon -- FWD aspires to encourage everyone to enjoy life to the fullest and stay true to their passion.
Richard Donovan, Race Director
Full results are posted on www.npmarathon.com.
The race started at 2230 hrs (Norwegian time) on April 8th under sunny skies and a temperature of -31 degs Celsius.
Dorn Wenninger (USA) and Gulzhamal DeFelice (RUS/USA) won the men's and women's titles, respectively, at the 2016 North Pole Marathon. Russian Paratroopers took the team title.
The annual North Pole Marathon is scheduled to occur on April 9th when a record 56 competitors from 21 countries will take part in the 2016 race.
Czech runner Petr Vabrousek kept his composure to clinch one of the world’s most gruelling sporting challenges, the North Pole Marathon.
Forty-five competitors from twenty-two countries and five continents are scheduled to take part in the UVU North Pole Marathon on 9th April 2015.
The 2014 UVU North Pole Marathon was recently awarded 'Carbon Free' status from CarbonFund.org.