Today, I had the opportunity to speak to Jim and Marsha, the father/daughter team most recently eliminated from the Race. I'll apologize up front if I missed anything, because I was unable to find anything that allowed me to record through my cellphone, so I had to take quick notes. Here's what they had to say:
What was your strategy to win, coming into the race?
Jim: We had a few basic straegies. We weren't going to make any alliances early in the game, we wanted to get a feel for everyone first. We weren't going to argue - if it came down to a quick decision that had to be made, Marsha was going to make it. I was going to do the navigating, and Marsha was going to do all of the driving.
Do you think alliances are important, or is it better to run your own race?
Marsha: I think alliances are helpful, but not in the early stages of the game. The main reason we didn't want to make alliances in the beginning is because we didn't want to get ourselves into an alliance with a weak team, and have it slow us down later. We took a lot of grief over our not wanting to ally with Charla and Mirna, but what you didn't see is that 20 minutes earlier, when we were getting on the boat, Charla and Mirna were yelling to the crew to leave us behind. We were still a little mad about that. We had a short semi-alliance with the twins to find a flag, and it didn't really help either of us.
What went wrong with the tickets?
Marsha: It was all the ticket agent's error. She was confused. There was only one seat available on the 9:30 flight, so I bought a ticket for me, and a standby ticket for my dad. I also told the ticket agent I wanted two tickets on the 10:30 flight. But at the same time, we had agreed to buy Brandon and Nicole's tickets, which we never would have done if we'd known that someone else had also agreed to buy them on another flight. So Brandon and Nicole got tickets for the 10:30 flight which they ended up not even using, and we got our standby tickets.
Jim: What you didn't see there also, is that we were the first two on the standby list for the 10:30 flight, and we were astounded when they called Kami and Karli's names. They skipped right past us. I don't know if they didn't like the way we looked, or the twins chatted them up, or what. Anyway, we didn't get that flight even though we were first on the list.
How is the leg, and do you think the injury had any real effect on your performance in the race?
Jim: The leg is healed and fine, thanks for asking. I have a nice scar to remind me, though. To be honest, I don't think the injury effected our performance at all. We almost missed that first flight because of it, but since we didn't, it never really was an issue. What became more of an issue was that it became infected a couple of days into the race, and I was a little worried about having to seek medical care in a third-world country, and maybe risk losing it altogether.
Did the bowling Moms tell just you about exchanging the money, or was it a group discussion, and how much time did exchanging your US money set you back?
Marsha: Actually, I overheard them talking to a local, saying "oh, we have to exchange money? The cabs won't take US currency?" and so on. Since I'd overheard it, I considered it good information. The line was out the door at the exchange, but we talked a guy into letting us cut in line almost to the front, so we really didn't lose much time at all. As for whether the moms were deliberately deceiving us, we still don't know, but we assume they weren't being malicious about it.
How far behind the 8th place team did you arrive at the pitstop?
Marsha: Twenty minutes or so. Which is amazing. Our flight was the 11:30 flight, and we were delayed a half hour so we took off at noon, and we made up almost all of that time. We were just not quite fast enough.
As the first father/daughter team on TAR, how did the race effect your relationship with each other?
Jim: Our relationship was great even before the race. But with my injury, Marsha had to play "mom" a lot, and take care of me. We really had no time to argue. There were a couple of arguments, of course, but CBS didn't show them, but that's inevitable in the high-pressure situation we were in.
You lived in Germany for 2 years, did you do any extensive traveling that may have given you an advantage over other teams?
Marsha: Well, Dad's been around the world for the military, and I've done some traveling, including backpacking around Europe for a month on my own. So I think that helped us a little, prepared us for the rigors of travel.
Marsha, are you still a cheerleader for the Jaguars?
Marsha: No, I'm not. I'm just another cheerleader washout. I actually just finished law school, and will be taking the bar exams next month, and hopefully will have my own practice in civil litigation soon.
What is the most interesting thing that happened on the race that we didn't get to see?
Marsha: I've got one. When we were all waiting for taxis after the meat-carrying task, they had to call a bunch of them, but they were coming one at a time. So we all decided that we would take the taxis in the order we'd arrived. We were second. But when our taxi arrived, Brandon and Nicole jumped in and took off. As they were driving away, Nicole yelled "Bitch!" out the window at me. Not exactly model behavior for people who are as God-fearing as they claim to be. I wish CBS had shown that.
Watching the show on TV, what team surprised you versus what you experienced with them on the show?
Jim: Charla and Mirna really surprised us. They are much more competitive than we ever gave them credit for. But I'm also surprised at them because they said they wanted to run the race to show that little people could do whatever anyone else could, and they ended up using that as a "crutch" several times on the show to get people to go out of their way to help them, or get special treatment. If that works for them, that's fine, but it kind of surprised me.
Thank you, Jim and Marsha, for taking the time to speak with me. I appreciate it, and thanks to CBS as well. I can be reached at email@example.com