I have been a big fan of the Amazing Race for many years. If you do not know what show I am talking about well, I am sorry but we cannot be friends. For a few seasons it became our Sunday night ritual; Armando and I would order in pizza and watch the show. We loved it! Of course we are travel buffs so that was what drew us in but we are also competitive and loved cheering for our favourite teams, sharing frustration over less than stellar moves from some players and praying (aka yelling at the TV screen) for our less than favourite players to arrive last at the finish line in an elimination round. We would strategize with each other of what we would do during each leg of the race. We always talked about wanting to compete on the Amazing Race but we were unfortunately not eligible. I learned that years ago when my brother had an almost near opportunity to compete on the show. My brother called me one day and without any salutations, he went straight to the point:
Bro’: Call this number? Me: Why? Bro’: Just call it. Me: Who am I calling? Bro’: Just call. Me: What do I say? Bro’: Nothing. Nobody should answer. Me: Well, why I am calling it then. Bro’: Just call and see. Me: But what if someone answers Bro’: Just hang up if someone answers. But nobody should answer now because it’s late. I hang up and dial the number. I get an answering machine, “Hello, this is Maria Rodriguez*, producer for the Amazing Race. I am sorry but I cannot take your call right now. Please leave a message…” *real name not used OMG!!!! The one and only reality show/contest that I would want to be on and my brother has the phone number for one of its producers?!?! Long story short, my brother knew this girl who was friends with the producer and there was a team that backed out the last-minute and the show was scrambling to find a replacement team. The friend called my brother to see if he was interested. Hell ya! Unfortunately, she was not aware that Canadians do not qualify for the American show. Boo! 😦
That crushed my dreams until the Amazing Race Canada came along. But we have a long list of excuses of why we have not applied. I do not think that I have the athleticism to endure that kind of race. I have concerns of looking like a fool on camera. We could not find the time to make our video application. Oh yeah, and there was another issue. I am not a thrill seeker. I made it clear that I would refuse to skydive or anything like that. Refused. As in I told Armando that if we get a challenge like that then we would have to immediately take the penalty because completing that challenge was not an option. So hence, we have not yet applied for any of the seasons. But it is still not out of the question. Especially after our “Amazing Race” experience we had a couple of weeks ago in Vancouver. We signed up for City Chase. It is like the Amazing Race but it is a one day event. City Chase organizes urban races in cities across Canada. Think Amazing Race crammed in one day, in one city. Darn. No planes or rickshaws? Regardless, we were still so excited!! So, how it worked was at the start of the race you are given a clue of where the clue sheet is and then it was 3-2-1-GO! as 500 people raced at once to the clue sheet location. Once obtaining a clue sheet, you needed to decipher the clues (there were 18 of them). Each clue was a location in the city where a challenge was going to be held but the clue did not tell you what the challenges were. You had to complete 10 of the challenges within a 6-hour period to successfully finish the race. You were allowed to walk, run and/or take transit (they provided a one-day transit pass to use the buses and trains).
Our goal was to just cross the finish line before that 6-hour mark. I am not a runner but what I lacked in athleticism, we easily made up for with our smarts. We quickly solved the clues, we methodically planned the most efficient route, we were allowed to use smart phones so we easily figured out the buses that we needed to take. We completed the required 10 challenges, from pulling a bus to setting up a tent and then changing into each other’s sweaty clothes inside the tent in 30+degree weather, in approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes. And no, I did not get a picture of Armando in my clothes. I wish I would have but guaranteed I would not have received permission to post it here.
When we crossed the finish line and found out we came in 39 out of 225 teams, we were ecstatic! And when we looked around and saw mostly younger teams had come in before us, that made us even more proud of ourselves. When we watched the Amazing Race, we were always concerned that we would be the couple that “always argued”. Each episode had moments where Armando and I would look at each other and say, “Oh, we would totally be arguing there for sure!” And we thought for sure there would be challenging moments during City Race. But we surprised each other how we pulled together and used each others strengths to be the best team that we could be. It was so fun! Could this be a prequel to our stint on Amazing Race Canada? If we could just stop bing-watching Netflix TV shows, then maybe we would have time to make our video application…