FWD returns as title sponsor of the North Pole Marathon 2020, putting conservation education at the heart
Hong Kong team Annie Liu, Andy Leung and Hard Tsui together with new member Wong Ho Fai joins FWD team members across Asia to take the Arctic race by storm
FWD Group (“FWD”) is pleased to sponsor FWD North Pole Marathon, the world’s coolest marathon, for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, FWD will support 12 runners from across Asia to take part on 13 April, 2020 and will reinforce the understanding and the importance of preserving the environment through the sponsorship.
Three runners who represented FWD Hong Kong last year, including artist Annie Liu; singer Andy Leung, and highly experienced marathon runner Hard Tsui, will be joined this year by new ultra-marathon runner Wong Ho Fai. These four runners will represent FWD Hong Kong in the half and full marathon races respectively.
This year, FWD is also introducing a new way to celebrate living by educating an incentive to preserve the environment. Working with EcoMatcher, a reforestation enterprise, FWD will plant trees to offset CO2. FWD is aiming to plant three forests across Asia including the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. In addition, FWD Hong Kong aims to plant 1,000 trees in Thailand and Nepal, equivalent to two forests, to make the event more meaningful by contributing to the natural preservation of the environment.
Ultra-marathon runner joined the long-anticipated Arctic race
This year, FWD invited ultra-marathon runner Wong Ho Fai to join the Hong Kong runners. Augmenting the promotion of FWD North Pole Marathon 2020, the four Hong Kong representatives created a series of promotional videos themed “#MyCoolestFace” and were painted in realistic snow-like special effects make-up to accentuate the extremities of the arctic cold, highlighting their determination to conquer the North Pole.
Annie Liu pointed out that the snow-like make up effect on her face recalled her memory from last year. “Last year, I stayed at Longyearbyen for a week when it was -30 ° C so I needed to eat a lot to keep warm. The snow-like makeup reminded me of how harsh the environment was and it spurred me on to be well prepared this year to cope with such extreme conditions.” Speaking of being able to embark on the journey again, Annie expressed, “I’m more excited to be able to represent FWD Hong Kong again this year, giving me another chance to finish the challenge.” “Courage is built over time. Just like when I entered the entertainment industry, I needed to accumulate experience over many years. This was fueled by my passion and drive to accept more and greater challenges ahead.”
It was the singer Andy Leung’s first time to experience makeup with special effects and was exceptionally excited on the shooting day. “The special effects were so realistic that I literally felt like I was in the North Pole and made the running shots especially realistic. I perspire a lot from the rush of adrenaline, so I needed to quickly cooldown otherwise I would’ve had to get my makeup redone from scratch.” On why he fell in love with running, Andy explained, “I initially started to run to improve my singing. I never imagined that I would fall in love with the sport. Just as I started singing as a result of my passion for music, I had never imagined my music could influence others.” Andy elaborated on his decision to participate in the FWD North Pole Marathon last year was to motivate others to courageously pursue their dreams. “One’s biggest obstacle is often himself. If you have enough determination and perseverance, you can surely achieve every goal.”
Hard Tsui said, “Last year’s FWD ‘78° North’ Marathon was the first marathon I took part in under extreme weather conditions. Although I was not able to complete it within my target time, it was an unforgettable experience. Having this opportunity again, I will leverage my previous experience, enjoy the race, and overcome the psychological pressure under such extreme climate. My goal is to break my record last year!”
Wong Ho Fai is very excited to participate in the marathon in the polar region. “As an ultra marathon runner, I spent 73 days completing a 3,500 kilometers course. But when it comes to the extreme cold I am about to face, it will be a great challenge to my mind and body. I believe one’s potential is unlimited – we are able to challenge further and further with our determination.”
FWD Team Asia takes part in the world’s coldest marathon
The four Hong Kong runners will join eight runners from five regions in Asia to form FWD Team Asia. The team includes Thomas Jason Peters and Misaki Izuoka from Japan; Joyete Jopson from the Philippines; Thị Ly Bạch and Duy Quang Trần from Vietnam; Itthipol Samutthong and Somchai Khemglad from Thailand and Rob Schimek from FWD Group.
Ken Lau, Managing Director of Greater China and Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer of FWD, said, “We are very honored to again be the title sponsor of the North Pole Marathon and support the runners to challenge the Arctic. We have given extra meaning this year through our environmental-driven initiatives which is inspired by our own FWD Team Asia. Our runners are awe-struck by the natural landscape of the North Pole where it is also vulnerable to climate change. At FWD, we pride ourselves in our challenger brand values and will start doing our part in helping preserve the environment we live in and encourage people to celebrate living.”