Hot Pursuit (also called Steeple Chase and Snake In the Grass) is a recurring physical challenge in Survivor.
While harnessed together, the two competing tribes will circle around an oval course (either in shallow water or on land) while carrying a twenty-pound backpack each (or similar heavy load). Players can drop out of the challenge at will, but they must give their weight to a tribemate before unclipping themselves from the rope. The first tribe to catch the opponent and touch one of their members wins.
The challenge was first used in Survivor: Palau. Janu Tornell and Jenn Lyon sat out of the challenge for Koror. Jeff Wilson quickly opted out of the challenge because of an ankle injury he sustained the night before. Caryn Groedel was unable to keep it and gave her weight to Tom Westman. Willard Smith quickly followed. Then Kim Mullen and Angie Jakusz opted out of the challenge. Katie Gallagher left the game. Exhausted, Coby Archa opted out. James Miller was the last person to opt out the challenge. Eventually, Koror managed to catch the exhausted Ulong tribe to win immunity.
The challenge reappeared again in Survivor: Cook Islands. In this version, the tribe that tackles the opposing tribes last member wins. Both tribes started equally. Eventually the Aitutaki tribe had all their women aside from Jessica Smith drop out at once, strategically handing each of their bags to a man. In spite of this, the physically stronger men of Raro was able to exhaust the men of Aitu. Rebecca opted out when the Aitu tribe was weakened. Yul Kwon tried to defend the tribe, but J.P. Calderon grabbed and pushed down Cao Boi Bui, giving victory to the new Rarotonga tribe.
In Survivor: Gabon, the challenge was adapted to be played on land. The course comprised of a dirt track, and instead of 20-pound sandbags assigned to each player, the tribe was required to carry a single, heavy snake. Corinne Kaplan sat out for the Kota tribe. The Fang tribe struggled, as most of its members dropped out, leaving Matty Whitmore and Ace Gordon to pick up the weight. Kota was much stronger, and Susie Smith's choice to drop out only made them faster. Kota won easily and got coffee, tea, and pastries as a reward.
The challenge moved back to its original design in Survivor: Caramoan. Brenda Lowe sat out for Gota, acting as a cheerleader. Gota won the Reward Challenge, as Bikal's strategy of walking for most of the challenge in an attempt to tire out the other tribe failed miserably, especially since Phillip Sheppard stayed in the challenge the whole time despite being exhausted quickly, costing them valuable time. Gota got to go on a trip to a Survivor-themed coffee shop.
"Dangerous Creatures and Horrible Setbacks"
"Flirting and Frustration"
"He's a Snake, but He's My Snake"
- Ironically, when this challenge was originally used in Palau, the order of which the members of Ulong dropped out (Jeff, Kim, Angie, and James) was the order they were voted out.
- Based on the season's TVGN preview, it appears that this challenge had been planned to appear in Survivor: Micronesia, but was presumably axed due to the medical evacuation and quit that took place before the merge, limiting the number of tribal challenges needed.
- Corinne Kaplan is the only castaway to have been present for this challenge more than once. She sat out in Gabon (her tribe won) and lost in Caramoan.
- Rarotonga is the only tribe to win this challenge without sitting anyone out. The three other winning tribes all had a numbers advantage entering the challenge.