Unlike marathons and muddy obstacle-course races, practically every team that competes in The MOST Amazing Race has a legitimate shot at winning.
Sean Greenlee (pictured above, left) and Aaron Mehsikomer (right) team name "Cobras" are proof. They were victorious after several years of losses.
In 2014, they finished ninth. In 2015, they didn’t even finish the qualifying race in time to compete in the main race.(The MOST Amazing Race no longer includes a qualifier.)
Then, last year, they won first place in the race’s Silver Division.
“We have always thought we’ve had a legitimate chance to win … as long as we didn’t make any big mistakes,” said Greenlee, 31, a field engineer for Microsoft.
That’s precisely what makes The MOST Amazing Race such an even playing field just one mistake, or one stroke of good luck, can be game-changing.
Example: During the 2014 race, a sixth-place team catapulted to first place when they caught a sunfish faster than the teams in front of them. That team went on to win the race and its $5,000 grand prize.
"Wow, what a race! Now, let's go run five miles," said no one ever.
"You can give a man a fish. Or, you can give him a pole in the middle of a race and make him catch his own in order to move on." -Anonymous
You thought tennis was hard? How about having to hit the ball through a small opening across the room?
Mehsikomer believes that the key to avoiding mistakes is to take a step back and a long, deep breath.
“When you’re out there, the tendency is to go, go, go,” said Mehsikomer, 32, a building maintenance professional. “But sometimes, it can be more beneficial to slow down and take a second to think about what you should do next.”
That strategy proved effective for Greenlee and Mehsikomer when they were at a critical juncture of last year’s race. By putting their heads together, they determined that it would be faster to run to a swimming challenge than to take the bus there.
“That saves us a lot of time and helped us pass a team on the way,” Mehsikomer said.
They went on to pass a number of other teams, winning first place and two queen-size mattresses from Mattress Firm.
Indeed, Greenlee and Mehsikomer are excited to compete in this year’s race.
“I have done other scavenger-hunt-type races, and this one is always head and shoulders above the rest,” Greenlee said. “The challenges are always unique, and all of the volunteers are great.”
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.
So far, Greenlee and Mehsikomer are undecided on which division they will try this time around. But they are leaning toward Gold.
“We’ve proven we can win the Silver,” Mehsikomer said. “We would like the challenge of taking first in the Gold.”