In a little over a week, three University of Calgary students will be headed across Europe using only cans of Red Bull and their wits to travel over 1,000 kilometres.
Eric Termuende, from Cranbrook, along with teammates Conner Brown and Ben Cannon, are embarking on the Red Bull Can You Make It? challenge.
The trio, calling themselves the Executive Team, will start in London and make their way to Berlin, stopping at checkpoints on the way. They have to make their way there using only the 24 cans of Red Bull they are provided and their own resourcefulness.
Termuende spoke to the Townsman on Monday and said the three of them are quite excited and prepping for the 10-day trip.
“We’re just working on a social media push right now. We’re all working on getting classes finished and to fill time at the students’ union as well,” Termuende said.
“We’re trying to get all the work completed to be able to take off for 10 days and literally run across Europe. So it should be exciting for sure. It’s nice to have a lot of school support as well and the university has jumped on our backs to kind of help us out.”
The trio are all executives of the Students’ Union at the University of Calgary. The contest came to their attention through a Red Bull representative and social media. “We thought we may as well send an application in and see what happens,” he said. “The application was a three paragraph description of who you are, what you’ve done and what you would do should you make it. Then a one minute video. Our video actually turned out to be quite successful and I think that was the tipping point as to how we got selected.”
This is the second year of the competition; last year it was in New Zealand.
There are two other teams from Canada, one from Quebec and one from Vancouver.
The 100 teams have different starting points across Europe. Personal phones and wallets are not allowed. Each team gets one phone which is limited to contacting the contest headquarters and updating social media.
“There are various checkpoints along the way. They haven’t told us where we’ll be going yet,” he said. “I anticipate Paris or down to southern Europe, perhaps Italy and then up through Austria as well. The adventure is the most exciting part, to see how successful we can be using just cans of Red Bull. I see it as we’ve already won by getting a chance to have an experience like this. Ideally we want to market ourselves as Canada’s team and get a lot of support that way and then have our journey well documented here.”
A huge party will be waiting for all the teams that make it to Berlin, and the winning team gets to attend a Red Bull event of their choice, anywhere in the world. Termuende said it could be anything from a surfing competition in Australia or Crashed Ice in Finland.
“It should be pretty exciting. We’re currently top 10 here, and that’s just with social media support,” he said, as Facebook likes for the team are a part of the scoring. “Any support we get from Cranbrook is obviously very much appreciated on the journey across Europe for sure.”
Termuende said they foresee challenges in the nature of the competition, but are prepared to go the distance.
“Weather could prove very difficult, as well as transportation,” he said. “At the end of the day, if we have to sleep outside or we have to do something crazy like that, we’re willing to, but when it comes to getting across the English Channel or when it comes to getting over the Alps or whatever it may be, I think a can of Red Bull may be difficult in doing that.”
The competition kicks off Friday, April 4. You can find out more info and follow the team’s progress on the competition website here. The video that won the team its berth is also there.