North Pole Marathon













2013 Competitors

Miguel Caselles (ESP)

A North Pole Marathon veteran. Miguel ran the race in 2007 and then took part in the first ever mountain bike race at the North Pole. See This year he will be the pioneer of the first ever North Pole Ski Marathon, covering the same course as the marathoners.

Ian Egan (IRL)

A sports injury therapist who holds a marathon PB of 2:43 hrs. Ian also holds an 8k PB of 25:11 and a 10k PB of 32:16.

Alvin Matthews (USA)

Completed numerous marathons from the Great Wall of China to Berlin to the Two Oceans (56km) in South Africa to Boston. Alvin also finished second in the 2011 Antarctic Ice Marathon, which represented continent number 6 for Alvin, who is a dam builder by profession. The 42-year-old from Ventura, California started running at age 34 just 7 months after breaking his back in a motorbike accident.

Willy Steinskog (NOR)

Keen outdoor enthusiast who enjoys running, skiing and hiking. Willy has submitted Elbrus and Kilimanjaro, Europe's and Africa's highest mountains, respectively. He has run various marathons and skied across Norway (Expedition 62). He has also skied across Europe's largest glacier (Jostedalsbreen) and around Lysefjorden, encompassing a gruelling 7,000 metres ascent / descent over a 12-mile distance. The 49-year has additionally hiked in the Andes Mountains region, including Aconcagua - South America's highest mountain.

Takenori Kojima (JPN)

A 43-year-old entrepreneur who has completed numerous athletic events in the past 16 months. Takenori ran his first marathon in Honolulu in December 2011 and has since completed seven other marathons, one ultramarathon (Comrades) and two triathlons as well as climbing Kilimanjaro. He decided to run the North Pole Marathon after his friend Hirofumi Ono recommended the race as a "most attractive and unforgettable experience". Takenori operates his own trading house and exportis construction machinery from Japan to Vietnam, Cambodia and other countries.

Oscar Leung - Green Monday / Convoy Hong Kong Team (HKG)

The 34 year-old actor from Hong Kong, though never having run a marathon runner before, is trying to challenge himself in this once in a lifetime experience at the North Pole Marathon. However, is utmost mission is to arouse public concern on protecting the environment. Together with a production crew from Hong Kong's major free TV broadcaster, TVB, a 5-episode series TV programme will be produced. The programme, focusing on environmental issues, will be composed of two major parts. One part will be Oscar's story in the North Pole Marathon, while the other part will be his colleague (another actor, Kenny Wong) participating in the Marathon des Sables, which is held at the same timr in the Sahara Desert.

Steve Lo - Green Monday / Convoy Hong Kong Team (HKG)

A 31-year-old who successfully completed the 254km Marathon des Sables in thr Sahara Desert last year. Steve representted the Convoy Hearts team in that event, which was fundraising  to enable poor Chinese sudents to go to University. in 2012, he also completed the Hong Kong Oxfam Trail Walker. he likes to share the experience of every marathon, spreading a “never give up” message to everyone, especially those struggling with difficulty in their lives.  

Ali Wehbi (LIB)

Popularly known as "The Lebanese Desert Runner". In recent years, Ali has has enjoyed racing in the most spectacular locations in the world. However, it was not until after he lost his mother to a battle with cancer that he questioned his lifestyle and began a quest to take part in some of the world’s most difficult races. He has run the Sahara race (Egypt 2007), where he finished 3rd overall, the Atacama Crossing, Marathon des Sables, Last Desert, Outback of Australia and many more. In 2011, he succeeded in running the Lebanese coast (240km) in 29hrs (with a twisted ankle) to raise funds for the Brave Heart Fund charity. The North Pole marathon is a part of his preparation for another big run at the end of October - 13 days, 13 marathons around Lebanon, with the goal of Enviromental Action Awareness. In 2007, Ali received a 'Lebanese Order of Merit' medal from the Lebanese President, Emile Lahoud. In 2012, he was awarded the 'National Order of the Cedar, Knight Grade' by the Lebanese President, Michel Suleiman.

Patrick Utz (SUI)

Started running in 2006 after a "smoking career". Patrick's first 30 minutes felt like 'survival', but then he began to run longer. He first competed in Sprint triathlons and then graduated to the 70.3 Ironman distance and 190km duathlon distance. His first marathon was in San Franciso last year and Patrick hopes to achieve the Grand Slam in the next few years. His motivation for running the North Pole Marathon is the dream, the place, the moment. It's also about experiencing how far and how hard he can go. Patrik's bucket list is still long and he hopes it will lead to completing ultras in 2013 and 2014 and some other endurance races all around the world. In 2013, he will concentrate on the North Pole Marathon, a 70.3 Ironman, a 333km ultra bike race in Swiss mountains and a multi-stage ultra run over 250km in Iceland. You can read Patrick's blog at It's all about "first impossible, then doable and in the end finished".  He operates his own business with salesgenerator+, a sales coaching company.

Gary Thornton - UVU Racing Team (IRL)

A top marathon runner with a PB of 2:17 hrs from only his second attempt at the distance. Gary won the 2010 Irish 10,000 metre track championships and has previously won Irish and British universities championships and numerous Irish titles at underage level. He has also been selected to represent Ireland on many occasions, including at x-country and road running. He made his debut at the marathon distance in Amsterdam in 2011, posting 2:19 hrs and followed up with a 2:17 in Rotterdam in April 2012.

Alexander Tauchhammer (AUT)

A Grand Slam hopeful who has already run marathons ranging from New York to Mount Everest. In 2013, Alex wants to complete the “Big 5 Marathon” in South Africa, the Inca Trail Marathon in Peru and the Antarctic Ice Marathon in Antarctica -- in addition to the 2013 UVU North Pole Marathon. An enthusiastic scuba diver and ice hockey player, he works as an International Digital Media Specialist for the international food company Dr. Oetker, with responsibility for 39 countries. Alex has also summited Kilimanjaro. 

Francis Ngai - Green Monday / Convoy Hong Kong Team (HKG)

An amateur marathon runner for more than 12 years. Francis completed the Gobi March in 2012 - a 250km self-supported ultramarathon in Gobi Desert - in 39.5 hours. He also finished the Oxfam Hong Kong Trailwalker (100km mountain race) eight times and proposed to his lovely wife at the finish point in 2003. Being the co-founder of Green Monday and full-time vegetarian, together with his dream team, he would like to run the North Pole and inspire more people to save the planet by one simple baby step -- GO MEATLESS MONDAY! Francis is the Founder and CEO of Social Ventures Hong Kong, and he would also like to dedicate the run to all social entrepreneurs who are striving hard for the betterment of our world.

Kason Fok - Green Monday / Convoy Hong Kong Team (HKG)

A 31-year-old Associate Director of the largest Independent Financial Advisor Company in Hong Kong. Kason represented Convoy Hearts when completing the 254km Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert in 2012 and raised funds for underprivileged students in China in the process. He also completed the Hong Kong Oxfam Trail Walker 100km in 2012. At the North Pole Marathon, he wil represent "Green Monday - Convoy Hong Kong Team", a project encouraging healthy, environmentally friendly living in Hong Kong. To get more information about Green Monday, see Kason also hopes to run 7 marathons on 7 different continents and enjoys the combination of running and travelling. 

Pedro Correa Dos Santos (BRA)

Completed 5 marathons on 5 different continents and is hoping to join the Grand Slam Club soon. Pedro is a medical doctor, working in the first Latin America Transplant Hospital. His goal is to get people to talk about donating organs and to become conscious of the necessity of it. He says that lots of people worldwide die while they are waiting for an organ transplant. If people are more "open" to this idea, lots of lives would be spared. Pedro says he is a very slow runner, with little time to train and too much work. However, he believes he is able to complete the task of running the North Pole Marathon - he knows he will struggle, it will hurt, but he will be there at the end crossing the line.

Alexander Rudiger (AUT)

An Austrian television presenter, entrepreneur, adventurer and speaker. Rüdiger is known to a big audience in Austria via the public television show Moneymaker. He is a dedicated amateur athlete who also likes to travel in the mountains. Born in 1969 in Vienna, he is the father of a nine-year-old boy.

Ziyad Tariq Rahim (PAK)

Completed 60 marathons and ultras in 26 countries and is the first and only Pakistani to complete a marathon on all seven continents. In 2010, the 39-year-old Head of Market Risk at Barwa Bank ran 3 marathons in consecutive weeks to raise funds for the Pakistan flood victims that affected 20 million people. In 2012, Ziyad completed the Marathon des Sables to raise awareness for Noma disease in Africa. He's currently attempting to make it into Guinness World Records by completing the Marathon Grand Slam in the fastest time (43 days). His journey will start in Antarctica on Feb 27th and end at the North Pole on April 9th. In between, he will attempt marathons in South America, Europe, North America, Oceania, Africa and Asia. As part of this World Record attempt, Ziyad is fundraising for "CARE Pakistan", a not-for-profit charity that provides free education to the underprivileged children in Pakistan ( ). Ziyad runs overseas to portray a postive image of his country which lately has been going through economic and political turmoil. He says he is not a fast runner, but rather an adventure runner who takes pictures and video while running.

Atul Patki (USA)

A sports fanatic who also likes to help children's charities. Atul is running his 2nd full marathon after completing the Marine Core Marathon in 2007. His reasons for running the North Pole Marathon are multi-fold: to reach the North Pole for the second time; to test his endurance and stamina; to become the first Marathi person to run the North Pole Marathon; to promote a healthy lifestyle in the USA/India; to meet nice people from all over the globe and have a drink with them; to have nice bedtime stories for his two beautiful daughters, Tejal and Mihika; and finally to raise funds for worthy charities. Atul is also running for friends and families who helped shape his life. To help Atul and his chosen charities, please go to the following link

Fiona Oakes - UVU Racing Team (GBR)

A top marathon runner with a PB of 2:38 hrs. Fiona is running the North Pole Marathon for a number of reasons. Amongst them is the opportunity to raise funds for an animal sanctuary she owns and has almost single-handedly operated in Essex for the past 16 years. Fiona's sanctuary cares for over 400 previously neglected and /or abused animals, many having been rescued from the food chain. She is also competing in order to globally promote the lifestyle an ethical vegan, and in so doing dispel any myths that a meat and by-product free diet is  prohibitive to sporting achievement at the highest and most extreme levels. She hopes to be the first vegan woman to complete the North Pole Marathon; repeating her efforts of 2012 when she became the first vegan woman to complete the Marathon des Sables. Fiona has had top 25 places in both the London and Berlin Marathons as well as top 10 finishes in Amsterdam, Moscow, Florence and Nottingham. She also has four marathon victories, all in course records, to her name. In 2010, she was the first female home in the Main Start of the Great North Run where she headed a team for the Vegan Society. In addition to operating her own animal sanctuary, Fiona is a Patron of two other Charities: the Vegan Society and the Captive Animals Protection Society. On the athletic side, she hopes to complete the North Pole Marathon as part of a goal of joining the Grand Slam Club.

Philippe Mateu (FRA)

A 52-year-old Critical Care Intensivist and acute mountain sickness researcher. Philippe was a mountaineer for many years, conducting expeditions in the Andes and Himalayas until his final expedition (KUN - 7087m) in 2008. Philippe has since taken up running and has been dreaming of the North Pole for a long time.

Peter Moffat - UVU Racing Team (GBR)

Completed the London and Edinburgh Marathons in 2012 and has a PB of 2:59 from Barcelona in 2011. Peter also climbed Kilimanjaro in 2012 and was looking for something a bit more 'wacky' in 2013. Hence, his participation in the North Pole Marathon.

Renaud Michel (FRA)

A former participant in the North Pole Marathon who finished second in the individiual competition in 2009. Renaud is the youngest of the Michel brothers team that completed the 2009 race. He is running for the charity Vaincre La Mucoviscidose (a French foundation fighting against Cystic Fibrosis). Renaud's daughter Marine, a cystic fibrosis patient, tragically died in December and Renaud's participation in the 2013 edition of the race is a dedication to Marine's memory. Renaud enjoys running races of any length from the classic marathon distance to extreme ultra trails, 100k and 24h races or longer. He has finished multiple “Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc”, “Grand Raid des Pyrénées”, “Le Grand Raid de la Réunion” and “Le Marathon des Sables” in 2010 and 2012. His marathon PB is 2:50 (Barcelona 2011). Renaud is an executive in the aeronautical business in Toulouse, France. You can follow him on

Erwan Michel (FRA)

The son of Renaud Michel, profiled below. Erwan is trying to complete the marathon in memory of his sister Marine, who tragically died last December. Although he hasn't any significant experience as a runner, Erwan is willing to give his best and is training with his father in the hope of completing the distance successfully.

Quincy Wong - Green Monday / Convoy Hong Kong Team (HKG)

Started running since 6 years ago and is aiming to run marathons on all 7 different continents, 2 poles and the Sahara. Quincy has participated in various marathons in different regions, including Kyoto, Osaka, Taiwan and Beijing, as well as one of the hardest marathons in the world “the 26th Sultan Marathon Des Sables”. He has raced more than 1,300 kilometers in the past 6 years. As the chairman of Convoy Financial Group, Quincy always strives for innovations and changes. Being a mission partner of Green Monday, he and his team would like to take actions for environmental protection and arouse public awareness on global warming during the North Pole Marathon challenge. To learn more about Green Monday, please visit

Warner Leedy (USA)

A first-time marathoner who is running the North Pole Marathon as a personal challenge and opportunity to visit such a unique destination. Warner is an American expat living in Dublin, Ireland.

Janos Kis (HUN)

Completed 78 marathons in 61 countries on all 7 continents. Janos will be part of the 'Marathon Grand Slam Club' by finishing the 2013 UVU North Pole Marathon. He has also climbed Kiliminjaro and successfully finished an Ironman Triathlon.

Brandon Kahler (USA)

A 31-year-old first-time marathoner from the Pacific Northwest, Washington State. Brandon is an ardent bucket-lister and traveller whose mantra is 'No Expectations, No Preconceived Notions." He likes to set goals outside his comfort zone and this experience as a runner will be entirely new territory for him. If he never runs another race, Brandon will at least have a story to tell - and he will be happy to get across the finish line successfully.

Linh Huynh (CAN)

A novice runner with hopes of one day joining the Grand Slam Club by running marathons on all 7 continents and at the North Pole. Linh has completed 3 marathons, one in her hometown of Calgary, one in Taiwan, and the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 2011. She also completed her first Ironman triathlon in 2011. Linh is looking forward to completing the remaining continents after the North Pole Marathon and is running to raise money for the Children's Wish Foundation, an organisation that grants wishes to terminally ill children. Her website is

Keith Leung - Green Monday / Convoy Hong Kong Team (HKG)

A 22-year-old financial planner who has discovered the joy and excitement of long distance running in the past year. Keith now relishes the challenges of battling with nature and has recently completed both the Sahara Ultra Marathon and the Hong Kong Trail Walker. He is a strong believer of living life with adventure & exploration and is looking forward to representing Hong Kong in the 'coolest' marathon on Earth.

Andrew Lai - Green Monday / Convoy Hong Kong Team (HKG)

An amateur ultramarathon runner for less than 2 years. As part of the Convoy Hearts team, Andrew completed the Marathon des Sables in 2012, raising funds for unprivileged student in China. He also finished the Oxfam Hong Kong Trailwalker (100km mountain race) the same year. He also participated in HK100 (another 100km mountain ultra) to raise funds to sponsor visually impaired marathoners to race abroad, as well as completing the Hong Kong and Kyoto marathons in early 2013. Together with "Green Monday - Convoy Hong Kong Team" Andrew is taking n the challenge of running the North Pole Marathon to raise public awareness on saving our planet and to promote environmentally friendly living - go green on Mondays! See more at Andrew is Associate Director of Convoy Financial Services - a listed independent financial advisory in Hong Kong. To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Convoy, another Convoy Team has embarked on a journey to the Marathon des Sables 2013, which also occurs this week.

Stephanie Gicquel (FRA)

Part of a husband and wife team running the North Pole Marathon. Thirty-year-old Stéphanie has completed numerous half-marathons, marathons and trail runs, including the New York City Marathon, the Paris Marathon and the SaintéLyon (70kms). She also enjoys triathlons, ski mountaineering, cross-country skiing, nordic skiing, long hiking trips and challenging her limits both physically and mentally. As Stéphanie has a strong passion for polar regions, the North Pole Marathon sounded like the perfect challenge to her. She will attempt to raise funds for the Association Petits Princes, which fulfills the dreams of critically ill children. By living their passions and by realising their dreams, children find extra energy to fight against their disease. To donate to this charity, please visit You can follow Stéphanie's (and Jérémie's) preparation at, which also includes interviews of extreme adventurers as they will try to learn from their experiences.

Jeremie Gicquel (FRA)

Part of a husband and wife team running the North Pole Marathon. Thirty-year-old Jérémie has completed numerous half-marathons, marathons and trail runs, including the New York City Marathon, the Paris Marathon and the SaintéLyon (70kms). He also enjoys triathlons, ski mountaineering, cross-country skiing, nordic skiing, long hiking trips and challenging his limits both physically and mentally. As Jérémie has a strong passion for polar regions, the North Pole Marathon sounded like the perfect challenge to him. He will attempt to raise funds for the Association Petits Princes, which fulfills the dreams of critically ill children. By living their passions and by realising their dreams, children find extra energy to fight against their disease. To donate to this charity, please visit You can follow Jérémie's (and Stéphanie's) preparation at, which also includes interviews of extreme adventurers as they will try to learn from their experiences.

Dominique Dicharry (FRA)

A sports enthusiast who has run several trail and ultramarathons in the past 6 years. Among Dominque's events have been the Marathon du mont Blanc, the 50km Eco Trail of Paris, Vosges Peaks, the Paris Marathon and a marathon race in Greenland. A former amateur cyclist, he has also practiced Inshore Power Boat speed racing. Following the North Pole Marathon, Dominque will run the 100km of Milau in September 2013.

Gary Craig (USA)

A 53-year-old computer programmer living in Los Angeles, California. Gary runs 3 or 4 marathons each year, but the North Pole Marathon is his first marathon outside of the USA. He has run the last few Boston Marathons and plans to run Boston again this year, a mere 6 days after the North Pole Marathon. In taking part at the Pole, Gary is looking for an adventure to one of the most remote places on the planet, and would also like to move outside of his 'comfort zone', where he believes he has been hovering too long. It will also be interesting for him to meet other runners hailing from diverse backgrounds. Gary has climbed the 6,189-meter mountain "Island Peak" in Nepal and Pico de Orizaba, the 5,636-meter high point of Mexico.

David Clare (GBR)

Sussex-based entrepreneur with a love of the Arctic and all things cold. In April 2012, David crossed 250km of the Arctic Circle from Sweden to Norway in under 6 days by husky sled (unsupported). He has run several half-marathons and a marathon in the in the past 18 months and has also taken up triathlons. He has always wanted to go to the North Pole and will be running in aid of the MS Trust as his wife has Multiple Sclerosis. Everyone thinks David is 'nuts' but that just inspires him more. If he enjoys himself at the Pole, he will likely undertake both the Siberian Ice Marathon and Antarctic Ice Marathon in subsequent years.

Anna Chernova (GBR)

Completed the Swiss Alpine high altitude run in both 2011 and 2012 and the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 2012. Anna first got the idea of running in mountains and other off-road conditions after helping scientists in "the bush" in Madagascar to keep fit for their demanding field work. She is a Quantitative Analyst with Google and was educated in both Physics and Biology at the universities of St Petersburg and Oxford, respectively.

Janis Chan - Green Monday / Convoy Hong Kong Team (HKG)

Executive Director of a Hong Kong social venture that encourages people to live in a more environmentally friendly manner. Janis was a news anchor in Hong Kong with a portfolio that included on-site reporting at the Oscars, Cannes and Venice film festivals, and Paris and Milan fashion weeks, but changed career path to become Vice President of Public Relations in an investment company. However, after witnessing a melting glacier on her honeymoon to Iceland in 2012, she decided to volunteer full time at “Green Monday”, a social venture in Hong Kong that encourages people to live in a greener way by not eating meat on Mondays — an easy and effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health. As the Director of Green Monday, she will represent the 'Green Monday - Convoy Hong Kong Team' at the North Pole Marathon. Although Janis doesn't have any significant experience as a runner, she is willing to give her best and hopes to be a positive example of a healthy vegetarian by finishing the race. Green Monday is working closely with TVB and Appledaily, who will both be on site at the North Pole Marathon to bring the run back to Hong Kong. Janis hopes that their documentaries can help gain public awareness of environmental and personal wellness issues. To get more information about Green Monday, see

Tom Cashen (NZL)

The senior partner in a father and son team from Auckland, New Zealand, who’ve recently celebrated their 17th and 61st birthdays. Tom has completed the Honolulu and London marathons, the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the Oxfam 100km trail walk. They are looking forward to spending the time together and supporting each other throughout the event. The pair know it won’t be easy but they are committed to finishing the full 42.2km. They are especially looking forward to getting back to New Zealand to tell their stories of another amazing adventure.

Jeremy Cashen (NZL)

A New Zealand teenager doing his second polar marathon, running with his father Tom. Jeremy has already packed a few adventures into his 17 years of life – he has previously completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon, and has mountain biked 1,000km across Spain with his father. They decided it was time to share another challenge.  They loved the Ice Marathon, and decided the North Pole Marathon would be an amazing experience to undertake. They are looking forward to the challenge of the North Pole Marathon and working together as a team to help each other achieve their goal of completing the race.

Frank Bollnow (GER)

Completed 70 marathons, including 2 ultramarathons, across seven continents to date. Frank also finished the Regensburg Ironman Triathlon in native Germany in 2012 and has completed Germany’s oldest long distance swimming event 15 times. He also successfully cycled the VÄTTERNRUNDAN 2010 in Sweden (300 km around lake Vättern) and FICHKONA 2012 in Germany (601km in 24 hours) and has climbed Mr. Killimanjaro. Having completed his seventh continent (Antarctic Ice Marathon) in November 2012, Frank is now set to join the Marathon Grand Slam Club by running the 2013 North Pole Marathon.

Havard Bo (NOR)

A 37-year-old Stavanger-based engineer who has run several marathons including New York, Paris and Oslo. Håvard has cycled the 542km Styrkeprøven race from Trondheim to Oslo in addition to undertaking a number of more moderate cycling races. His adventures started with mountain hiking from an early age, and he has conducted numerous hiking trips in places such as the Norwegian mountains, the Alps and the jungles of Asia and South America. Håvard likes a challenge and is hoping to be among the first Norwegians to finish a marathon on each of the seven continents and at the North Pole (Marathon Grand Slam).

Christopher Baird (NRL)

Running the North Pole Marathon for a charity called 'MyMind'. Chris is a volunteer with the organisation, which aims to make mental health care easily accesible and affordable for everyone in Ireland. An Irish-registered charity, it has two offices in Dublin and Cork. 

Jonathan Bellarby (GBR)

Completed several marathons and ultras, mostly in his home base of Scotland. Jonathan was inspired to run the North Pole marathon after hearing of fellow Scotsman Andrew Murray's experiences at the North Pole Marathon and Antarctic Ice Marathon in 2012. Although he has noticed he performs better in wilder weather, commonplace in Scotland, he is nevertheless wondering how he will cope in the Arctic extremes. He is running the race to have an utterly unique experience while also raising funds for a Multiple Sclerosis charity - the North Pole challange is finite but suffering from MS is much more difficult and lasts a lifetime.

Carolina Barcellos (BRA)

A 30-year-old TV presenter who has never run in cold conditions. Carolina has completed one marathon and five half-marathons, all in hot Brazilian weather. She was invited to be part of Globo TV's 'Planeta Extremo' series and now finds herself running at the North Pole and undertaking other 'crazy challenges' throughout the year.

Dennis Andrade (USA)

A physician from San Diego with the goal of running a marathon on each of the seven continents and at the North Pole.  To date, Dennis has run 16 marathons including Boston three times, the Antarctic Ice Marathon, Berlin, Tokyo, Easter Island, Kenya and Melbourne.  In addition to practicing medicine, he also teaches medical residents and students and promotes Global Health volunteerism.

Marcelo Alves (BRA)

Veteran of the 2012 Antarctic Ice Marathon, which he describes as the biggest challenge of his life. Marcelo started running three years ago with the goal of moving from a sedentary lifestyle to completing the 'world's coolest marathon'. He hopes to be a positive example to others by finishing the race and will promote the movement 'Stronger Brazil - Become a Bone Marrow Donor'. He also hopes to the first Brazilian-born runner to complete both the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon.