The FWD North Pole Marathon did not occur in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability of competitors to reach the departure point, Svalbard. Their entries have been guaranteed for 2021 and we will post the final race field and bios for 2021 shortly.
Based out of New York, Abisoye started her marathon career in 2010 and, to date, she has completed 69 marathons all over the world including some premier events such as the Everest Marathon, Inca Trail, Pikes Peak, Zermatt, Comrades, Two Oceans, Great Wall, Petra Desert, Mozart100, Kilimanjoro Marathon and 2019 Antarctic Ice Marathon, so she has ran marathons on all seven continents. Her next goal is to become a Marathon Grand Slam member by competing in the North Pole Marathon.
Andrea has acclimated to the perma-heat of Singapore for the past two year, almost forgetting the cold breeze of the North Italian winter. Along with his colleague Tom Hennessy, also in this race, he has been challenging his physical and mental endurance under the Singapore midday sun as well as the humidity of night. Andrea has completed two marathons to date, both in Singapore, and many other sports competitions such as Spartan races. He likes any kind of sport from football to wakeboarding and now he resides in Asia he is trying to explore a sport culture that is different from the one he grew up with. Andrea actually doesn’t like running but loves its benefits and the fact it involves perseverance and dedication to be effective. He believes it’s one of the best ways to keep the body fit and a way of challenging limits! The North Pole marathon means a lot to Andrea because it’s a massive chance to assist less fortunate families all over the world through some charity fundraising associated with his run: the charity will be the boost of fuel/strength to finish.
An avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast, Judy seeks out adventures around the globe. While she prefers running half-marathons, placing 3rd in the 2010 Antarctica Half Marathon, she also completed the 1995 Marine Corps Marathon, 2015 Boston Marathon Shadow run at Bagram, Afghanistan and the 2016 Boston Marathon. Her other memorable experiences include mountain bike racing in Europe and the United States, diving with sharks in Fiji, trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp, and deployments as a member of the U.S. Army. Judy is running at the North Pole to raise funds for and awareness of Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, an organization that empowers people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming. You can learn more at https://vermontadaptive.salsalabs.org/judyboydnorthpolemarathon/p/judithboyd
Ly is an aspiring runner and she participated in her first marathon in 2019. Since then, she has fallen in love with the sport and has ran in multiple large-scale marathons like the Terry Fox Run, Pocari Sweat Run and the Ho Chi Minh City International Marathon. Every time Ly earns a medal, she gives it to her daughter to inspire and motivate her to believe in her own potential.
David resides in Hong Kong and has run dozens of marathons and ultra marathons on all 7 continents. He was a podium finisher at the 2016 Antarctic 100K and is a member of the 7 Continents Marathon Club. David has met many previous Marathon Grand Slam Club members and is excited to join this exclusive club as well as get the chance to spend time with the “Legend” Richard Donovan :)
Nicole grew up in the Midwest, playing in one sport or another through college, but never took up distance running until her mid-twenties. She has since raced multiple distances, working up to her first marathon in 2006. Nicole first heard about the North Pole Marathon when it was featured on the news, and thought the runners were absolutely crazy. Turns out, she is cut from the same cloth, because the more she read about it, the more she wanted to do it She decided to take it off the top of her bucket list for her 40th birthday, which is also in the month of April. The North Pole Marathon will also be her 10th marathon, and the first outside the U.S., and she will be running to raise awareness of the charity Blessons (blessons.org), founded by a fellow runner friend/marathoner. To support the charity, please follow the link: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/2019-any-race-team-blessons/nicoleelstun
Jessica has run quite a few half marathon races over the past few years in addition to the Trimpell 20 miler and the Chester Metric marathon. However she has only run one other 26.2 mile marathon, which was London in 2017. In practice for the North Pole, Jessica ran the Tromso half marathon in Norway ins January: However the temperature was disappointingly mild so there was not much opportunity to try out her kit. She says she is not a fast runner but more of a slow and steady type. Jessica is not planning on breaking any records at the North Pole but she has a love of the Arctic and getting to the North Pole is a dream for her that she wants to tick off her bucket list.
The FWD North Pole Marathon will be Tom’s 8th official full marathon and he is still in shock from coming joint first in last years race. Alas, he feels that feat may not be repeated in 2020 but as long as he is ahead of any Polar Bear, it’s a bonus! Most of his normal running has been in the daytime sunshine of Singapore or the nighttime dampness of its humidity so training has been a little tricky with the closest acclimatization to the North Pole temperature resulting from putting his weekend food shopping away into the freezer! Thomas is running with work colleague Andrea Bonanami to raise a little money for 3 charitable causes and also to take some “Santa letters to the North Pole” for other colleagues and friends to help create some Christmas magic for their Children.
Mike has been a runner for about 10 years and loves races in cold and remote places. He has run a half marathon in Greenland, an ultra in Iceland, a marathon in the Faroe Islands and several races in Northern Canada. The North Pole Marathon has always been a bucket list goal, but lately the effects of Climate Change have been on the top of his mind. His number one goal is to soak in every moment of this grand adventure.
Misaki (Izu) is a Japanese fashion model and a social media influencer who has 1.6 million followers on her social network channels. She has completed nine marathons and half marathons across the world, including running a half marathon during the 2018 FWD North Pole Marathon. One year after that adventure she is now ready to go back to the North Pole and undertake another challenge, to go beyond what she accomplished last year and complete a full marathon of 42.195km. Izu produces her own brand of t-shirts and donates all the profits to those affected by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
Jill is the founder of ‘Memory Joggers’, a fundraising group dedicated to raising money and awareness to fight Alzheimer’s disease, and is running the North Pole Marathon in support of the Alzheimer’s Association. With the motto “racing to the ends of the earth to beat Alzheimer’s disease,” Jill says she is plodding her way through the Marathon Grand Slam, having now completed marathons on 5 continents. Upon completion of the North Pole Marathon, she looks forward to an unofficial designation as a "bipolar marathoner", having completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 2017. When not running, Jill is a managing director of a Fortune 500 company based in Washington, D.C.
Sandra has enjoyed running since her late teens. She ran her first marathon in 1986 on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. While living in Hawaii, she ran many marathons, half marathons, Oahu island perimeter 134-mile relay races and even triathlons. The original Ironman competition was conceived out of a discussion during the 1977 Oahu perimeter run awards ceremony. In 2016 she suffered an injury to her right knee and back which left her unable to do much. Through intensive physical therapy she was able to start walking again and, wearing knee braces and in much pain she trekked to Mount Everest Base Camp in 2017. She achieved her dream to complete a marathon on Antarctica in 2018 Antarctic Ice Marathon. She met the most amazing group of runners on Antarctica who inspired her to keep dreaming and achieving even more marathons.
Håkan, 69, works as a radiologist. He is a member of The 7 Continents Marathon Club and has completed an Ironman and 13 marathons to date including the Stockholm Marathon, Great Wall Marathon in China, Kilimanjaro Marathon in Tanzania, Sydney Marathon, Buenos Aires Marathon, Paris Marathon, Rome Marathon, New York Marathon, Cape Town Marathon, Petra Desert Marathon, Antarctic Ice Marathon and the Ladakh Marathon in Tibet. He’s now aiming to become a member of The Marathon Grand Slam Club and is working with the church of Sweden in promoting a fund-raising campaign called TO FIGHT CHILD MORTALITY.
Joyette is a Financial Wealth Officer with FWD Insurance. Nicknamed the “pocket rocket,” she is known for her small and quick steps. She is a seasoned triathlete, with several local triathlon, duathlon and running championships under her belt. She has participated in multiple Ironman and Ironman 70.3s around the world including Ironman 70.3 and XTERRA World Championships and is a three time Ironman Filipino Elite Champion.
Joey is an entrepreneur, endurance athlete and musician. He has finished more than 100 marathons, ultramarathons and Ironman competitions and more than 100 half marathons, short distance triathlons and short distance competitions.
Luke is a student and athlete. He likes to run various distances such as marathons, half marathons, 10k, and 5k. Luke has been the youngest participant in the “Race across America” ultra race, Iceland Challenge, and Namibia Challenge.
K. Somchai Kemglad gained his fame as a 'stopper' soccer player for the Thailand National Youth Team, and in 1987, the team won the ASEAN Soccer Championship for under 13 division in Hong Kong. Soon after, K. Somchai set his eyes on the entertainment business and became one of Thailand’s most popular pop star and film actor. However, playing sports and being active is where his true passion lies. He has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kinabalu and ran marathons in New York, Moscow, Osaka, Kyoto, Singapore, and Phuket.
A careless comment by someone stating Jason couldn’t do a triathlon lead to a major lifestyle change and the start of a 20-year love affair with endurance sports and sporting challenges. Whilst running has always been a constant, the challenges Jason has loved taking part in include; triathlons, all distances up to full Ironman distance, cycling time trials and sportives, endurance stand up paddle boarding, marathons and to date one 100km ultra. But the North Pole marathon will be by far the most extreme and exciting sporting challenge Jason will have faced
Alexey has competed in Ironman races, ultramarathons and marathons, including finishing second in his age category at the Baikal Ice Marathon (42 km on the ice of Lake Baikal in Siberia from one bank to another), completing three Ironman races in 2017-17, and also finishing two Comrades ultramarathon in South Africa. He enjoys motorbike racing, photography, diving, swimming, skiing and boxing. In 2008, he participated in the Russian and European motorcycle championships, taking first place in the Endurance Cup of Russia. In 2003 he received an MBA from Kingston University, United Kingdom and won Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 in the Industrial production category at the "Ernst & Young" Russian stage international competition. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate at Kingston University for his outstanding contribution to the development of the entrepreneur's movement. In 2013 was appointed as Minister in the Government of Moscow and from 2017 Vice-Rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) and the Director of the Graduate School of Public Administration at the RANEPA. He has also been an independent director of SIBUR Holding since 2018. Alexey is married and has three daughters. His website is www.komissarov.com
Melissa’s passion for running and a love of travel and adventure has been the fuel for her desire to stretch the boundaries of her personal and professional abilities. She simply states she loves to “Work Hard & Play Hard” to live to the fullest. Although she didn’t start running until her late 30’s, Melissa quickly went from local 5K fun runs to completing 29+ marathons all over the world. She also trained for 2 weeks at a running camp in Iten, Kenya, which is the home of many marathon world record holders. Melissa is also recognized as an Iridium member of the Marathon Maniacs for completing 4 marathons in 23 days. Now at age 50, Melissa has set her sights on completing the North Pole Marathon to achieve the “Grand Slam”. Melissa is also an Open Team rower with the Bair Island Aquatic Center in the San Francisco Bay area. On the professional side, she is the VP of Finance at Oracle overseeing a global financial planning & analysis team that is responsible for the decision support for the company’s co-CEO’s organization. She has B.S. degree in Finance from Arizona State University and an MBA from the U.S.’s #1 International Business School “Thunderbird”. Over her career in finance, she has enjoyed working and engaging with people all over the world including managing global teams from places like India, Poland, Malaysia and the UK. In fact, her work has taken her on continuous around the world trips 3 times. She credits her ability to work and travel effectively to running and exercising on the road. Any extra time she gets on these trips, you would undoubtedly see her out for a run. When there is a conflict with her “work hard/play hard” motto, Melissa's high energy level and dedication will muscle out a solution. A fond memory of one such situation had her running for 3 hours on the “Dreadmill” in order to keep on track with her training plan.
Andy is a singer from Hong Kong and he first started running because he wanted to improve his singing performance. He very quickly fell in love with the sport and since then, running has been an integral part of his life. Andy has participated in 10km and half marathons like the FWD 78N North Marathon last year in Longyearbyen. He is excited to return this year to compete in the FWD North Pole Marathon.
Annie is an acclaimed actress with over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Outside of acting, she is an avid runner that has participated in world class marathons for 10 years consecutively. Annie participated in the FWD 78N North Marathon last year in Longyearbyen and is returning this year to complete FWD North Pole Marathon.
A very proud self-funded World Explorer, Globally_Mike, who is Working hard daily, Saving hard yearly, Ticking off Bucket Lists “in style” & Traveling to the most amazing places on earth, has currently visited 135 countries and Antarctica. Now Mike is aiming to visit every country in the world by the next 4 years (2023) then retire! The North Pole 2020 Race will be his first running marathon ever in his life, to celebrate his 35th birthday at 90N, to enjoy the moment of a lifetime and to have the unforgettable experience there. Standing at the North Pole, rather than the competition, will make his lifelong dream come true. Mike believes: life is too short to be unhappy, now live your life and make it memorable cause you only live once. He welcomes you to check out his unique lifetime journeys on Instagram: Globally_Mike & www.GloballyMike.com
Tom is the Head of Create with FWD Fuji Life Insurance. His bucket list of races completed includes: 20 marathons, 30 half marathons, 50 triathlons and duathlons throughout Australia, New Zealand and Japan. He resides in Tokyo but “still calls Australia home’.
The 2018 Antarctic Ice Marathon champion, Roma says she was happy to finish the Ice Marathon – her first marathon - as it helped to return both her and her husband to a more professional and disciplined training life. Roma has been a semi-professional sportsperson all her life, participating in many mountain bike, mountain bike orienteering and multisport competitions of long duration. She is exited to run the 2020 FWD North Pole Marathon after the challenge on the Antarctic continent. Romas has competed for the Lithuanian mountain bike orienteering team for 5 years and was the main organizer of World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championship in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2017.
Xiaobin is a finisher of the World Marathon Challenge 2017, and looks forward to finishing the North Pole Marathon and joining the Grand Slam Club. In 2018, he ran across Europe in 61 days from Istanbul to Amsterdam; and summited Mt. Everest with his team for the 120th Anniversary of Peking University. Xiaobian has also run the 6 World Marathon Majors as well as other city marathons and various ultra races.
Huma began running some 18 years ago in her early 30s, mainly as a club runner. In addition to numerous 10k runs, half marathons, and cross country and fell runs, she has successfully completed The London Marathon three times, The Tough Guy Challenge, climbed all the National Three Peaks in 22 hours, and cycled from London to Paris in 24 hrs. To mark her 50th birthday, she hopes to run the North Pole Marathon in memory of her late father who was a Dementia patient, and who was of Pakistani origin, and hopes to raise money for that cause along the way. Huma also hopes that her efforts inspire others, especially young girls and women, to get involved in sports and outdoor activities.
Patrick is a chiropractor with the two main passions: Travel and Running. He has visited approximately 169 countries and dependencies and has also run seven marathons, including London and Amsterdam. Patrick started running five years ago when, he thought he may as well try and join in rather than merely just watch his son take part in athletics. Not surprisingly, this trip will be his greatest challenge to date but, if all goes to plan, he hopes it will be one of the most rewarding as well.
Eric is from Chicago, but lives in Colorado with his spouse and three kids. He has run 40 marathons, including the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the Volcano Marathon. He loves exploring the world through the lens of running.
Hideaki completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 2016. When he saw many of his friends at the North Pole Marathon, he decided to run to achieve the Marathon Grand Slam by completing a marathon on all 7 continents and at the North Pole.
Pok is the host of a fitness show on Thai PBS and is also on the committee of Thailand’s health club. He ran over 2215 km as part of a campaign with celebrity runners to raise funds for hospitals. Having run his first 10k in 1984, Pok has continued running throughout his life and recently ran the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc (CCC).
Edward is 51 year old and lives New York with his wife Eileen and his three children Isabelle, Lourdes and Fabrizio. He has been a Sales Trader for the past 25 years, and currently works for the Brazilian broker dealer XP Securities in New York. He started running in an effort to support a friend – Gary Thompson – in running his first NYC Marathon in 2014 and they have since run the run the last 5 NYC marathons together and recruited many friends to join them in destination marathons along the way. Their list includes Berlin, Chicago, Reykjavík and Washington DC. The will now run the world’s coolest marathon together.
Rob enjoys the physical and mental challenge of extreme events. He is a two-time competitor in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii (‘15 and ‘17); three time competitor in the World’s Toughest Mudder - a 24 hour endurance event in Nevada (‘14, ‘16 and ‘17) and he has completed more than ten marathons including London, Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and, most recently, Hong Kong. He currently lives in Singapore where temperatures range between hot and hotter but he has prepared for cold weather over the years by tailgating at Philadelphia Eagles games and drinking ice cold beer with his friends.
Magnus took up running ten years ago and has since ticked off numerous distances and races including the Copenhagen Marathon 2010, Frankfurt 2012, Helsingborg 2013 & 2018, Klamar Ironman 2017 and the Vasaloppet (90km) x-country skiing race in 2018. He is 50 years old and married with two children.
Jens is a scientist living in the Chicago area and working in a US pharmaceutical company, enjoying life to the fullest. He completed his first triathlon in 1994 and since then has always loved endurance racing. Despite running multiple marathons and even an ultramarathon (JFK 50 miler) in 2018, his passion has always been triathlons and he has two Ironman finishes. Sometimes Jens just loves to put a hard marathon in the mix like the North Pole Marathon and this will be his personal gift for his 50th birthday.
To Gary, running a marathon is like any meaningful journey in life: It begins not just with a single step forward, but also purposeful intent. Determined to become a long-distance runner just five years ago, and having now completed 17 marathons, Gary trained hard to get in competitive shape and test his physical boundaries. Routinely up before the sun rises, he runs in Lower Manhattan, New York, no matter what the weather and long before the big city stirs. As a Global Equity Trader, he thrives on challenge in a fast-paced world. But running marathons sparked his adventurous spirit and desire to explore new places. Last year, Gary became a Six-Star World Major Marathon finisher (completing all within just a short 12- month period) and one of few British/Americans to run through the streets of Pyongyang in the North Korean Marathon. A more recent goal is set on the upcoming marathon in Cuba. Gary’s vision of life has taken him to far regions of the world few have envisaged including Mount Everest Base Camp and soon now to the North Pole. To live a life of purpose and with confidence is a lesson that Gary wishes to impart by example to his young twin boys. He hopes that the North Pole challenge will show them that one travels and explores not to escape life, but for life not to escape them. Besides, what better way to celebrate his 50th year of living than literally standing on the top of the world!
Quang’s is one of the most well-known runner in Vietnam. He made history by becoming the 1st Vietnamese to finish the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in France, the Ultra Trail MT Fuji in Japan and the Spartathlon in Greece. Quang always brings with him the Vietnamese flag when he races overseas and even wore the Vietnamese hat (Nón lá) during his Spartathlon race in Greece. Through this, he hopes to share his culture with everyone and to put Vietnam on the map in the world of marathons.
Hong Kong’s top-ranked marathon runner, Hard, participated in the FWD 78N North Marathon in 2019 and achieved stellar results. As a seasoned runner, he’s ran in Berlin, Japan, Korea, and Kenya, but never has he experienced conditions like those in the North Pole. Hard is thrilled to be able to participate at the FWD North Pole Marathon and is looking forward to meeting other passionate runners like himself.
Matthew is responsible for global food & beverage strategy and operations for Marriott International, the largest hotel company in the world. Born in Hong Kong and living now in Washington DC, he speaks several languages and has traveled the world as an endurance racer and high-octane adventurer. Past jungle treks include the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia, Borneo and West Papua on the Island of Papua New Guinea. Past endurance race destinations include Hong Kong, Antarctica, Brazil, Morocco, Madagascar, Iceland, Bhutan, Chile, Sri Lanka, Dominica, Albania, Kenya and Namibia. Matthew was also a contestant and season finalist on the television show Survivor: The Amazon.
As a plant-based ultra-endurance athlete, Fai participated in over 50 ultramarathon races around the world. In August 2019, he ran for 73 days in Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa covering 3500km. He hopes to be able to run around the world in the next 5 years.
Jordan is a former British soldier turned adventurer and best selling author, that was injured in military service. Since leaving the armed forces he has also battled with mental illness but uses adventure to help others through fundraising and awareness whilst facing his own challenges. Jordan ran his first two marathons in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2018 and can’t wait to take on the North Pole Marathon 2020.
Yi has previously completed the Dubai Marathon and has been to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. She believes the FWD North Pole Marathon will be the most special adventure that she takes part in.
Tao is a 42 years old doctor from Shenzhen, China. She has been running for four years, and completed 13 marathons in China and overseas, including the Berlin Marathon and Gold Coast Marathon, and has a person best of 3 hours 52 minutes. She loves outdoor sports such as climbing, hiking, and traveling. She enjoyed the two trips to Northern Europe to see the aurora, and is ready to go farther north and participate in the FWD North Pole Marathon.