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EXTREME SURVIVAL

noemieandi24511Milton Peters College's annual event

Written by Noémie Williams & Mae-Ann Snijders

On Saturday, February 6, Milton Peters College (MPC) held its 6th annual Extreme Survival. Being students of Milton Peters College, and having endured this strenuous event more than once, we can say with confidence that this year's Extreme Survival was definitely tougher than those before.

We, our team of four students, were pumped up and ready for the challenge. Before we began, we felt quite confident about our fitness and physical perseverance, but by the end of our first hike, our legs were already screaming. During the second hike in Colombier, we went through the bush, guided by only a few instructions. The hike was by far the hardest many of us have experienced. We did not come across civilization for at least two hours, and when we finally did, we were astounded to see the houses of St. Peters from such a great height. We were so surprised to see that we had basically walked back to where we had been 5:30 that morning. By that time we were so desperate for concrete under our shoes, it's no wonder a few teams completely disregarded the instruction envelope and followed the first paved path they came across, completely getting themselves off track. At the end, everyone's feet were burning and fatigue was written on everyone's faces. We still bear the blisters from kayaking and the sunburn on our faces. At least one person in every team had taken a tumble and every first-aid kit given had been used.

We had little time to stop and take any breaks, and after more than 10 hours of constant physical straining, you could only imagine the relief on people's faces when we were served with an all-you-can-eat delicious buffet at the end point on the beach. There's nothing like a plate of good island food after a long and hard day.

Throughout the day, there was much frustration and pain for everyone, but there were also many fun-filled moments. It became less frustrating when teams stopped viewing their opponents as enemies and started helping each other along the way. We were all in the same boat, and once we realised that, we started stretching a hand to help an opponent up a slope, and lending out each other's bee-sting ointment.

It was a great experience and challenge for everyone's determination and physical ability. It was also a great lesson in teamwork.

What is the MPC Extreme Survival Day?

The competition is held every year around the same time and is looked forward to by many students. Every year, only 20 groups of 4 students are allowed to take part. Selections are made on a first come, first serve basis. The date for sign-ups is made known a week in advance and students must find a way to be on time when the registration opens at 6:30am.

The Extreme Survival is divided into different routes. For every route you can receive a certain number of points, however, for every minute you are late, you receive one point less and if you are not careful, you can end up in the red.

At the beginning of each route, students receive two envelopes. One you are immediately allowed to open. It gives you clues as to where you have to go e.g. "follow the line of trees" or "look for a yellow sign."

The other envelope is an emergency envelope. If you are lost and need extra assistance you may open this envelope, however, points are taken off if opened.

The Extreme Survival lives up to its name. Every year, 80 students sign up for this competition, knowing only that they have to hike, bike, swim and kayak. Information about the meeting – location, route, obstacles and end-point are top secret.

According to students, this year has been the toughest one yet.

The Route

A day in advance, it was made known that the meeting-location was Milton Peters College. At 5:30am, students roamed the school, waiting to begin. Penalty points were already being given out for teams that came in later than 5:45am.

At 6:00am, after having received their first-aid kits, wrapping their emergency cell-phones and receiving their point-list, students were hustled into two yellow buses, the windows of which had been completely taped with black garbage bags.

Students were held in suspense, in the dark, as the bus made its way to the bottom of Pic Paradis.

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