FOR the second straight year the Philippines will have a representative in the “world’s coolest marathon” in the person of a fearless Filipina — Joyette Jopson.
A seasoned triathlete and cyclist, Ms. Jopson seeks to conquer the elements and physical demands as she plunges into action at the 2019 North Pole Marathon happening on April 9 backed by pan-Asian insurer FWD.
She will be part of FWD Team Asia, joining other representative FWD runners from Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.
Incidentally, FWD will serve as the title sponsor for the North Pole Marathon for the third year in a row, seeing the event as in line with its core values of “empowering people to pursue their passions and explore a lifetime of limitless possibilities.”
In send-off ceremonies for her held on March 5 which also served as the launch of FWD Philippines’ “Fearless in the Arctic” campaign, Ms. Jopson said she is honored by the opportunity given to her to represent the country and make history as the first Filipino woman to tackle the North Pole Marathon.
“It’s truly an honor to be chosen to represent FWD Philippines and the country in the marathon. This is a new challenge for me and I’m looking forward to it,” said Ms. Jopson, who is also an FWD Financial Wealth Officer, in an interview with BusinessWorld.
Making it all the more special, she said, is that she gets to do it on the back of March being the International Month for Women, saying it is a chance to underscore the capabilities of women and inspire other women whatever they may be doing.
“Definitely it makes it more special. It will be an honor to become the first Filipina to finish the marathon. And I hope to inspire other women to continue to be achievers in whatever field they may be in,” she said.
Ms. Jopson is looking to follow in the footsteps of Louie Sangalang, a cancer survivor, who was the Philippine representative in the 2018 North Pole Marathon.
Mr. Sangalang showed tremendous spirit and dogged determination in finishing the race in 11 hours and four minutes.
To help Ms. Jopson, 39, in her preparation, FWD Philippines has assembled a team which is serving as guides and sources of inspiration.
Part of the team is accomplished mountaineer Romy Garduce, who is back with the team for the second year, Asian Games skateboard gold medallist Margielyn Didal, and veteran cyclist Carmela Pearson.
Ms. Jopson shared that she values the lessons and inspiration she is getting from her team as she prepares for the tough challenge ahead.
“I really worked with FWD in selecting a group that will help me prepare. Romy is a friend from way back. And he has practically done everything, conquering many summits in the Philippines and, of course, Mt. Everest. So he’s really accomplished. Margielyn, even if she is young, has really inspired me with her story. How she overcame obstacles when she was starting, like she was being chased by guards because she was skateboarding all over the place as she had no place to train. It’s like my position right now as I train here in conditions different from the North Pole. Carmela is a friend and a great athlete,” she said.
Ms. Jopson went on to say that they are taking cue from the experience of Mr. Sangalang and his team last year to help in their preparation.
For FWD Life Philippines, it said that they are happy with the selection of Ms. Jopson as representative and it is firmly committed to its Fearless in the Arctic campaign.
“We chose Joyette as the Philippines’ representative to the FWD North Pole Marathon this year because of her indomitable spirit, something that will help her conquer the North Pole. As the first Filipina who is set to conquer the marathon, she will proudly bring both FWD and Filipino pride to the world stage,” said FWD Life Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes said in his message during the send-off.
For more information on the marathon and FWD’s campaign, log on to npmarathon.fwd.com.ph. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo