Cancer survivor and former mixed martial arts fighter Luisito “Louie” Sangalang is ready to test his toughness anew in the FWD North Pole Marathon 2018 on April 9.
Sangalang, 40, will be joining runners from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and Singapore in traversing the 42-kilometer path at -30 degrees centigrade temperature.
“This is a greatest challenge in my career. I’m really excited and honored,” Sangalang told reporters in a news conference organized by the FWD Life entitled “Blaze a Trail in the Artic” on Tuesday at the Mind Museum in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
“Aside from the distance, you know running a marathon is very difficult itself. The danger of freezing to death and encountering a polar bear, wherever you are add to the risk or increase the risk. So I think, this is really the most challenging race and event that I will participate in,” Sangalang added.
Sangalang will be trained by triathlon coaches Ige Lopez and Ani De Leon-Brown.
“I have an intense coach who keeps on pushing me to finish all my races. My family is also my motivation for this run,” he said.
After the artic race, Sangalang is hoping to fight again in the Universal Reality Combat Championship, where he was the featherweight champion from 2005 to 2007.
“I’m looking to fight again using the training that I will be getting from this artic race,” said Sangalang, noting that he can use his mixed martial arts background to survive the race.
“Mentally, the race is really not different from MMA because it is about survival,” he said.
Romi Garduce, the first Filipino who conquered the seven summits of the world, including Mount Everest in 2012, is among Sangalang’s supporters.
Sangalang will be leaving the country for Norway on March 31 and will spend five to six days there before going to the Artic.
The first Filipino to finish the North Pole race was Victor Consunji in April 2016.