Running from polar bears for a good cause

American Ben Scully and Canadian Todd Latta layered up yesterday, April 15, for a 26.2 mile trek over ice and snow to complete in the world’s coolest race: The North Pole Marathon. This grueling, full-length marathon features snow, ice, wind, and cold with the threat of…errr…polar bears!

Bears aside, Ben and Todd did this all in support of a good cause: the vital work of Humanity & Inclusion.

The runners first met in Taichung, Taiwan in 2006. Ben, originally from New Jersey, and Todd, who grew up near Vancouver, Canada, met at a running club called the Hash House Harriers. Todd says Hash is a nutty, international running group, consisting of locals and expats who enjoy exploring and running through the semi tropical jungles of Taiwan.

So it’s quite obvious that Ben and Todd would be easily bored by a mere road race (at least not if they have to). They seek adventure! In years past, they both completed the HK TrailWalker 100km race and have already started looking for the next big event.

Ben may run faster than Todd, but the duo sticks together during tough races like this one. “Ben definitely runs faster than me,” Todd explains. “I simply do my best to provide frequent comedic interludes on particularly tough events and training sessions.”

This running experience of a lifetime is fully sponsored by FWD, an insurance company headquartered in Hong Kong. With FWD’s generous sponsorship of their entry fees, they decided to set up a peer-to-peer fundraising page on Crowd Rise in support of a charity.

Ben volunteers with his company in China at a local school with children with disabilities. Todd has seen many people with disabilities over the years who have been affected by war in Asia. So when they came across Humanity & Inclusion on FWD’s list of recommended charities and learned a bit more about our work, it seemed like the perfect fit.

Ben with a student at a school in China.

To date, Ben, Todd and their supporters, including Canadian actor Anthony Lemke, have raised more than $10,000 for Humanity & Inclusion.

“We are so grateful to Ben and Todd for choosing to support HI,” says Sara Goldberg, U.S. Director of Development. “It’s because of supporters like them that people with disabilities and vulnerable individuals can stand tall and live in dignity.”

Results from yesterday’s race are now in! Ben and Todd finished side-by-side at #19 after 7 hours, 25 minutes, and 4 seconds.

Join us in congratulating Ben and Todd! Way to go, guys!!

PS – Whether you’re running a local 5K, climbing Mt. Everest, or celebrating a birthday, you can set up a peer-to-peer fundraising page in support of Humanity & Inclusion. Learn more here, or email us at donorservices.usa@hi.org and we can walk you through it!