Year after year, the Twin Cities Salvation Army’s MOST Amazing Race offers no shortage of competitive drama.
Perennial racers Zac Bauer (pictured above, left) and Grant Dietrich (right) of team “Two Guys” know the drama well. During the 10th anniversary race in 2015 which featured the best race challenges from previous years the men were part of a breathtaking finish.
Dietrich explains: “We were around three minutes behind the third-place team racing to the last challenge (Bauer is pictured at this challenge). The prize for third place that year was a new mattress from Mattress Firm. Zac had just bought a new house and needed a new mattress. I remember telling Zac that we had to get the mattress.
“With it being the 10th anniversary, we had done the final challenge in a previous year. Knowing we had to make up time, we didn't read the directions and went straight to the challenge, passing the team in front of us just as we crossed the finish line.
“You have no idea how hard Zac pushed to get to the finish. My parents were at the finish and said he looked like he was going to die as we crossed the line.”
That’s just one of many fun and exciting race memories Dietrich and Bauer can recall. They’ve raced together every year since 2014, with plans to compete in this year’s race on Oct. 7 in St. Paul.
“It’s a great time for a great cause,” Bauer said. “But, Grant may have to carry me on his back this year with two young kids at home, my workout schedule has suffered quite a bit.”
Dietrich has been racing even longer than Bauer, competing with other teammates since 2009. He is one of the race’s all-time leading fundraisers, gathering a total of $18,000 worth of donations during the past eight years.
“The Salvation Army is a great organization,” Dietrich said. “It’s amazing what a couple of emails sent to family and friends can pull together.”
Zac attempts to "repair a gas line" in this challenge.
Team Two Guys performs a traditional Bollywood dance they learned just five minutes before showtime.
"Eat Mor Chikin": These cows are chanting the Chick-fil-A slogan after they hand-squeezed the restaurants signature lemonade.
Of the dozens of race challenges that Bauer has completed, his favorite was at last year’s race, when teams had to dress up like a bride and groom.
“It was pretty comical seeing all the people running up and down Grand Avenue with their top hats and veils,” Bauer said.
Dietrich’s favorite challenge is a tie between throwing baseballs at Target Field and identifying Minneapolis landmarks from the observation deck at Foshay Tower.
The men share the same least-favorite challenge.
“Dancing,” said Dietrich, who is pictured performing a Bollywood dance with Bauer. “That doesn’t work well for either of us.”
Like last year's race, the 2017 event will feature two divisions Gold and Silver. Gold teams race for a $5,000 grand prize, while Silver teams race for fun, plus cool prizes.
Dietrich, an eight-year race veteran, likes the new race format.
“It gives more people the opportunity to run the race,” he said. “And hopefully it is a better opportunity for The Salvation Army to raise more money, because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”