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Meet the First Vietnamese Woman to Compete in the North Pole Marathon

Saigon native Tang Nguyet Minh will be running 41.195 kilometers (26.2 miles) in temperatures of -30ºC (-22ºF) as part of the FWD North Pole Marathon.

On April 9, after a week of tundra training, Minh will undergo the challenge that is set to test both her endurance and ability to withstand harsh conditions. The mother of two is not a professional athlete, but rather the owner of a fashion boutique. She told Tuoi Tre in an interview that it will be "the gig of a lifetime."

"It’s great for non-professional athletes like me and I really want to overcome this challenge." She hopes her participation will help instill in people’s the belief that “anyone can do the seemingly impossible.”

Minh wasn’t initially interested in competing in a marathon until she joined a recent charity run. Now the avid runner not only has plans to compete in the FWD North Pole marathon but will enter in the IRONMAN triathlon in Da Nang and the 70-kilometer Sapa Vietnam Marathon upon returning. “I will come back filled with energy,” she said.

Nguyet's running gear. Photo via VnExpress.

The only Vietnamese in this year’s race, Nguyet is one of ten runners representing Asia along with Gary Leung, a vision-impaired athlete from Hong Kong. According to the marathon’s official website, the entrance fee for the run is US$19,685 (VND450 million), in which local insurer FWD is sponsoring the Asian athletes. Runners from 22 different countries will take part.

The FWD North Pole marathon, which began in 2002, is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the northernmost marathon and Runner's World called it the “World’s Coolest Marathon.” Competitors race across ice flows at the geographic North Pole and are encouraged to run as a means of raising money for charity.

[Top photo via Facebook user Tang Nguyet Minh]

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