Pinay triathlete Joyette Jopson became the first Filipina to have completed what’s tagged as ‘the world’s coolest marathon,’ having conquered the debilitating 42-kilometer 78° North Pole Marathon in four hours, 10 minutes, and 59 seconds. Not to mention the race course’s average temperature of -30 to -40 degrees.
As if that is not newsworthy enough, Jopson also placed third overall and first in the women’s group.
The run was held last April 16, 2019, amid the freezing conditions of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, a Norweigian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. The lone Philippine representative’s participation was sponsored by FWD Philippines. She joined other seasoned runners from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand.
While Jopson’s triumphant finish is extraordinary, it isn’t exactly unexpected. She is among the top triathletes of the country, competing in local and international running events for 13 years. She also topped the elite category of the Ironman—one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation—three times before.
Exclusively for the North Pole Marathon, Jopson’s support group included Seven Summits-conqueror Romi Garduce, skateboarder and Asian Games gold medallist Margielyn Didal, and long-distance cyclist Carmela Pearson, among others.
As the only certified marathon that is run entirely on the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean, Jopson—a native of country with tropical climate—proves that it is only when you get out of your comfort zone you can push yourself to the limits.
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