The Subaru Palm Challenge is no easy feat. Giving away only one brand-new car to the ultimate winner, the competition is both a physical and mental challenge. Participants try to stay in the game for as long as they can. As the number of players dwindles, the remaining ones need to stay even stronger. But how exactly do you persevere in such a grueling challenge that lasts for more than three days?
We observed the participants of the recently held regional final in Singapore, and took note of their game strategies and what they did during the five-minute break every six hours. Note that every participant in the regional final is required to submit a medical certificate to ensure that he or she is in shape.
So, just in case you're thinking of joining next year, we've prepared 10 tried-and-tested tips to help you last longer.
1. Pray you get a favorable position. If you draw a decal placed on the hood or the trunk, you're in luck because these spots are winning positions. Filmark Bernante, a two-time regional final contestant who got a trunk position, was able to beat his previous time: He clocked 62 hours and 27 minutes. Others are not as fortunate, though. Johnny Anticamara lasted for only 2 hours and 17 minutes in the game because he had to occasionally stand on his toes to keep his hand on his spot, which was rather high.
2. Eat lots of bananas and hydrate well during breaks. Spread out during the much-awaited breaks are tables serving rice meals, vegetarian meals, bananas, water and sports drinks. Most participants go for the bananas to help prevent cramps.
3. Avail of the free massage during the five-minute break. Participants take turns being attended by therapists. Your aching leg muscles are treated to a cold compress, and your shoulders are given a massage to help you win the brand-new Subaru car.
4. If possible, bring a family member or a dear friend who could assist you during the five-minute family break. Since the competition is not only a test of physical strength, it's a great idea to have moral support. Alex Neblasca, for instance, had a personal masseuse during the family break. The final two contestants had their family members cheering them on from the sidelines. Imagine winning the grand prize and driving the brand-new car with your loved ones. Sweet.
5. Because you're on your feet for long hours, be sure to stretch your legs. Elevate your limbs. They have to be strong enough to stand for another six hours.
6. And perhaps yoga helps. One challenger took stretching to another level by doing a wheel pose after having competed for 24 hours. Top Gear Philippines editors could barely perfect this yoga pose after a whole day of work.
7. Freshen up. Showering, shaving and using wipes are not allowed. But you can still take a quick wash to wake up your senses and help you fight drowsiness.
8. Think happy thoughts. Never underestimate the power of positivity. First-timer Donn Michael Yap of Cebu was the second-best-performing Pinoy in the competition, clocking 71 hours and 56 minutes. Smiling all the time definitely helped his cause.
9. Make the wheelchair your sobering warning. When it enters the contest area, it means someone's about to leave the competition in a few seconds. Make sure that participant is not you!
10. Remain focused. After several hours of having your palm pressed against a car's decal, it will begin to feel numb. Your fingers may start to move involuntarily and leave the decal. You will get a penalty (marked by a yellow bracelet) each time a marshal sees a finger off the sticker. Get three bracelets and your dream of winning a brand-new Subaru is over.
Photos by Tracy Carpena