Forty-five competitors from twenty-two countries and five continents were scheduled to take part in the UVU North Pole Marathon on 9th April 2015 amidst them was Tuedon Morgan, a Nigerian. Tee Morgan is a 42 year wife and mother of four who currently lives and works in Qatar.
In 2007, Morgan tipped the scale at 121kg, and struggled with her health and chronic pain. This was a big enough wake-up call to change her sedentary lifestyle and turn her life around. She first joined the gym, followed by a running club where she discovered the world of long distance running. Here, she received the “Most Determined Newcomer” Award during her first year of running, and three years later became the club’s “Greatest Achiever”. Since those early years of running, Tee has since completed a marathon on every content (including Antarctica) – becoming the first Nigerian runner, and 5th Black runner to do so – and repeated this feat by completing the Triple Seven Quest.
The North Pole Marathon has been described as the race that makes the London Marathon looks easy. About 40,000 runners have been training for the London Marathon, on April 26. Just 45 lined up for the North Pole Marathon on 9th April. For Tee Morgan, running marathons is her way of showing ordinary people can do extra-ordinary things. “My name is Tee Morgan and I run for National Black Marathoner Association. I will be running for Nigeria” was one of her Facebook updates as she was set for the marathon.
“As Today I raised the Nigerian flag to become the first Nigerian to ever step foot on the North Pole and to run a marathon. Words fail me to express how am feeling. The weather was -41C. I fought really hard to finish this race. I am grateful to God for helping me. I placed the Nigerian flag on the north pole. No Nigerian has ever step foot on the pole. I became the first Nigerian to achieve this. You pick your flag when you cross the finish line and that kept me going. The last 4km were the worst. I had soft snow up to my knee. I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. But I know am not one to give up. I fight and fight till the end. I learnt new things about myself. This is by far the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.”
The race is organized by Richard Donovan, a former economist from County Galway in Ireland, and is one of the only marathons run on frozen water; ice.