As the BAFTA-award winning third series reaches its epic climax tonight, one lucky team will cross the finish line in first place, claiming the £20,000 cash prize and the title of Race Across the World Champions.
46 days ago, five teams embarked on a monumental journey across the second largest country in the world, Canada. Now, only three remain best friends Cathie and Tricia; Ladi and his daughter, Monique and Mobeen and his wife, Zainib.
Without smartphones, internet access and credit cards the teams’ skill, ingenuity and determination have been tested to the extreme as they have attempted to conquer the 16,000-kilometre route.
How do you feel to have made it this far in the race, with just the final leg to complete?
Cathie: We feel like we’re in a really strong financial position. Our plan has been to make sure we have some money left for taxis if needs be for the final leg, we’ve managed to achieve that so I feel comfortable that we’ve got a thousand dollars left and that should get us where we need to go, quickly. I’m sad that it’s coming to an end! I’ve really, really enjoyed it. It’s been exciting and it’s been enlightening learning about the different areas of Canada – so I’ll be sad for it to come to a close, but I just need to get to the end now. I need to finish it. I really, really, want to win and I’m ready for the last leg now.
Tricia: I am really excited for the last leg and knowing we’re on our final journey is just really exciting. I’m also sad that it’s coming to an end because we’ve had such an amazing time. We’ve had so many laughs, so many giggles and so much fun over the weeks and spending this time with Cathie has just been amazing. I’ll be quite glad to come home and see my hubby and cats, but I’ll be sad to say goodbye to the other competitors too because we’ve formed a lovely bond with them.
What has been the highlight of your experience so far?
Cathie: It’s difficult to choose one highlight from the experience so far but it will have to be standing on the side of the frozen lake in Jade City. It was silent and it absolutely blew me away. I had no words to describe how beautiful it was.
Tricia: I actually agree with Cathie on this one, Jade City and spending the night in that log cabin that Kristy had built with her own hands. We sat around a firepit for about ten minutes just looking at the iced lake, taking in the beauty and the sounds of birds and nothingness – it was just incredible and I definitely, definitely, need to go back there. The other highlight was getting to spend so much time with Cathie. We don’t often get to spend massive amounts of time together so being able to do this with her has been a massive highlight for me.
What are your biggest life lessons from the journey so far?
Cathie: I think the biggest life lessons for me doing this race is that it’s OK for other people to do things for me, that I don’t have to do everything myself and that I’m more resilient that I thought I was. The journey has also cemented what I already knew about our friendship. That we do support each other, we complement each other, and we’ve had this amazing opportunity to spend significant time with each other that we wouldn’t normally get and haven’t had since we were teenagers.
Tricia: I think mine has to be that it’s OK not to be OK and have those moments. Also, that I’m stronger minded than I thought I was. Throughout the race, I think I’ve learnt more about our relationship too – that I’m Cathie’s biggest champion and she’s mine.
What would winning the race mean to you?
Cathie: Winning the race would make all of the tears, the frustrations and despair worthwhile. It would also be the best way to say thank you to all of the wonderful people who helped us along the way. Even getting this far, we couldn’t have done it without their help. We’ve relied on people right from the word go, right from Vancouver, and they have got us this far. If we win, it’d be the best way to say thank you to them.
Tricia: If we were to win the race it would cement everything, we’ve been through over the last seven weeks or so. It will confirm that you can do this adventure with friends – you don’t have to be related or in a relationship, it will cement that it’s been worth it, it would also mean an amazing holiday for me and my husband, Matt. Getting to the finish and winning would be not just the icing on the cake, but the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake!
If you don’t win – who would you most like to win?
Cathie: I feel like we’ve got to know Zainib and Mobeen quite well, or as well as you can do in the short spaces of time we’ve had together and I feel like we’re developing a friendship there already so for that reason, I’d love to see them win.
Tricia: If we don’t win the race it would definitely have to be Zainib and Mobeen who I’ll be cheering on. You can see their relationship growing so much throughout the experience. They’ve learnt a lot about each other and learnt that it’s OK not to be OK at times – I’m big advocates for them.