MANILA – Former beauty queen Maggie Wilson is the first Filipina to finish the Antarctic Ice Marathon, which involved braving extreme conditions and freezing temperatures.
Wilson completed the 42-kilometer course with her husband, businessman Victor Consunji, who is the first Filipino finisher in the North Pole Marathon.
A total of 55 runners from six continents joined the marathon in Antarctica last November.
“It was a constant battle with my mind and body. I survived without getting frostbite and hypothermia in one of the most remote locations in the world,” she said in an Instagram post.
“I may not be considered a ‘full’ Filipino at times, but I stand at the finish holding the Philippine flag as the first Filipina to complete a full marathon on Antarctica,” she added.
In an interview with the local fashion website Preview, Wilson recalled the challenges she faced during the Antarctic Ice Marathon.
“Because there were only 55 runners, sometimes you’d find yourself running alone with just the snow and the mountains in the background, with nothing but the sound of your shoes crunching the snow with every stride. At times, being alone felt serene but when you’re out there in sub-zero temperatures with no one else around for a couple of kilometers, it could easily mess with your head,” she said.
“It’s not your typical marathon where hordes of people crowd the race track to cheer you on. In Antarctica, you are your own cheerleader most of the time.”
She added: “The most challenging part was not giving up. My husband told me before the race that if I ever felt I couldn’t complete the full marathon, I could tap out after 21 kilometers and get a medal for that instead. And believe me, that sounded like the best thing ever after doing 21 kilometers.”
“But I told my husband, I wasn’t raised to be a quitter.”
Last year, Wilson and fellow beauty queen Parul Shah won the fifth season of “The Amazing Race Asia.”
Wilson represented the Philippines in the Miss World pageant in 2007.