Fit couple competing as team on 'Race'
Sunday, February 15, 2009 3:28 AM
By Molly Willow
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Victoria Hunt applied to go on the reality show Survivor many times through the years.
Despite the apparent interest of casting directors, her pursuit never led anywhere until she showed them a picture of herself with husband Brad.
That did the trick -- not for Survivor but for another CBS reality show.
The couple from Columbus will appear in the 14th installment of the Emmy-winning The Amazing Race, beginning tonight.
"I thought it was pretty funny she tried to get on Survivor for . . . (years) but, as soon as they saw my picture, they said, 'Come on out,' " Brad, 52, said with a laugh.
Like his wife, Brad Hunt is no couch potato.
He has taken part in Ironman triathlons, marathons and ultramarathons as well as rock and ice climbing, high-altitude mountaineering, kayaking through the Everglades and powerlifting.
Victoria has done much of the same while also becoming an avid skier, despite multiple foot surgeries.
The two are what most people would consider "fitness freaks," said Victoria, 47.
They met through a personal ad and married nine years ago.
Both work at American Electric Power and regularly tune in Survivor and The Amazing Race.
Although they aren't permitted by the network to talk about their experiences on the show -- filming began at Halloween and wrapped up about a month later -- the Hunts' conditioning probably helped them during the extreme challenges and settings.
This season's race spans 40,000 miles and nine countries in 22 days. The teams experienced the world's second-highest bungee jump (but who's counting?), bone-chilling temperatures, suffocating heat, and, for the first time in the series, travel to Romania and Siberia.
All quite a change from the "honeymoon-type" destinations the Hunts usually visit, Victoria said.
Their friends and relatives weren't surprised that the couple participated in the show.
"It just seems like the kind of thing that we would do," Brad said.
"(The show is) looking for people who have an opinion," Victoria said. "We're both very strong-willed and opinionated people. We make what I think is an interesting couple."
They weren't allowed to tell anyone what program they were appearing on until recently, a secret friends and family members pounced on.
"They've just been trying to pump us for information," Brad said.
"You develop thick skin and a straight face," Victoria said.
When new-season promos began running on CBS a few weeks ago, their secret was out.
"It's nice to be able to say, 'Yeah, we're on the show. That's us,' " Victoria said.