HOW far would Cebuano’s go to win a Subaru Impreza 2.0 six-speed manual?
Cebu found out last Saturday, Aug. 10, when 107 men and women showed up for the 2013 Subaru Impreza Challenge Philippine Leg in Cebu at the Ayala Terraces.
The challenge sounds simple: participants need to place their palm on a specified area on the car, without lifting it for as long as they can. However, they only get a five-minute break every six hours, with added physical challenges in between.
The 107 participants – 120 registered but 13 didn’t show up – were distributed among three Imprezas in the middle of the Terraces under the sweltering Cebu heat.
The event started at 8 a.m. and within just an hour, five people had dropped out. But with the first challenge – holding a water bottle on one hand and standing on one leg – eight more people were eliminated.
As the temperature started to climb above 30 degrees Celsius and the surface of the Impreza started to heat up, the challenge got more and more, well, challenging. It became a test of mental toughness, presence of mind, and stamina.
By 12 noon, 38 more participants called it quits, unable to wait for the first break just two hours away. But after the second challenge—rotating a hoop around the other arm—that came an hour before the first five-minute break, only 56 challengers in all were left. Thirteen more challengers failed to return in time after the break, leaving the number of challengers to 42.
The third challenge, though a tough and strenuous one, surprisingly only eliminated seven participants. Yet the determination of these 27 survivors was more than enough to earn the respect of the organizers.
By the eight hour mark, only 11 challengers were left, but as the minutes ticked, one got eliminated after the other. After 10 hours and with the fourth elimination challenge, only four were left.
Unfortunately, there only has to be one winner. Still the fifth challenge only took out one participant, after they were made to dance to a Gentleman and Gimme Gimme remix.
It was in the final elimination that the winner was proclaimed: Jobert Estrera, a fast-food chain employee, who endured a mind-boggling eight hours, 33 minutes and 18 seconds of heat and rain to earn himself a trip to Singapore as one of 10 Philippine representatives to the 2013 Asian Face-off of the Subaru Impreza Challenge this October.
Estrera outlasted his nearest competitor by a mere three seconds.
In Singapore, however, Estrera will be facing nearly 10-fold the challenge. In the 2012 contest, the winner outlasted everyone else by clocking in a grueling 64 hours.
That’s nearly three days under the elements. But with an Impreza 2.0 six-speed manual as prize, such an ordeal should be worth it. (NSV)