Photo by Tayhlor Stephenson / Lifestyles Editor
Story by Steve Barnum / Reporter and Andrew Nation / Contributing Writer
Red Bull is kicking off their annual “Can You Make It?” challenge where students from around the world compete in a cross-country race with Red Bull as their only currency.
It’s not uncommon to hear about college students wanting to take a cross-country trip around Europe. However, doing so on a college student’s income could be considered a challenge. But, doing so with absolutely no money and using Red Bull as your only form of currency could be considered downright crazy, and that is what the “Can You Make It?” challenge is all about. According to RedBull.com, “It’s an adventure of a lifetime!”
The site also explains that selected teams, which are made up of three students from more than 60 countries around the globe, will have to hand in their phones and cash in exchange for 24 cans of Red Bull. They will then have seven days to travel across Europe, hitting checkpoints to restock their cans along the way and be the first to cross the finish line in Amsterdam.
A Red Bull affiliate who asked to remain anonymous due to Red Bull’s media guidelines explained the challenge in further detail.
“Your goal as a team is to be the first team to reach Amsterdam from wherever they drop you off at, but your only form of currency there is Red Bull,” the source said. “So, you want somewhere to eat, somewhere to sleep? Bus ride? Plane ride? Whatever, you name it, you have to trade it for Red Bull.”
Applicants have until February 14 to submit a one-minute long video showcasing why they would be the team to make it to the finish line. The anonymous source explained that the video shouldn’t just be a quick and simple message taken from your phone but should be a well thought out clip showcasing your team’s quirkiness, spontaneity, outgoingness and sense of adventure.
“This is for someone that wants to see something, experience something or wants a story to tell,” the source explained. “This is the way to do it because even if you don’t win, you’re getting a free trip to Europe.”
Zack Pierola, a 26-year-old from Orlando, Florida, was a contestant in the 2016 “Can You Make It?” challenge. He teamed up with his two friends, Miladan Balos and Steven Yalowitz, who were students at the University of Central Florida. Pierola and his friends were encouraged to apply after hearing that a girl they went to high school with had participated and won the grand prize.
“I thought that it was an insane idea and that if she could win so could I,” Pierola said.
This year’s grand prize has not been announced yet, but past prizes have included an all-summer-long, paid adventure. Overall winners got to travel across Europe as Contiki Travel Ambassadors where they experienced local attractions, Red Bull events, all-expenses-paid accommodations and transportation.
During the competition, as said before, competitors cannot use technology; cell phones are specifically banned.
“We could have our phones with us for emergencies, but they were sealed in bags that would be checked for tampering at checkpoints,” Pierola said.
They kept those bags in pristine condition on their adventure so that there would be no chance of getting disqualified. Even though the rules were clear about cheating, Pierola mentioned that there were still some unfair moves played by other competitors, but that did not deter his team.
When Pierola’s team initially landed in Europe, he explained how interesting it was learning where all the other competitors had come from and seeing how many other competitors there actually were.
“It changed the way me and my friends look at the world,” Pierola said. “It shows that if something is possible then you should go for it.”
The “Can You Make It?” challenge promises to be an adventure of a lifetime, and it could be worth any student’s time to get their friends together and apply. It’s free to send in a submission, and if chosen Red Bull will fly you to Europe for free. You won’t spend a dime for seven days and you will come back with a life experience that not even money could buy.
To apply for the Red Bull “Can You Make It?” challenge, click here.
To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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