Friday, 19 September 2014

New Brunswick provides Spooner and Mikkelson with seventh victory in Amazing Race Canada

Fair play paid positive dividends for Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson in the semi-finals (11th leg overall) of The Amazing Race Canada. Having left Peake’s Wharf in Charlottetown at 4:32 am, the hockey heroines were among four times that had to drive over the Confederation Bridge towards New Brunswick.
Upon reaching one of Canada’s first four original provinces, the drive continued for another 140 kilometres to Shediac, known throughout Atlantic Canada as “the lobster capital of the world.” As a side note, this marked the first time that the program ever held a leg in New Brunswick.

While the brother/sister team arrived at Shediac first, they were lost en route to their destination, leaving the door open for Spooner and Mikkelson to be the first team to arrive. The first challenge in the race may have also been the easiest of the entire race. Arriving at an Acadian birthday party at a local Dairy Queen (of note, the fast food giant is also a sponsor of the program), the racers had to make tasty Blizzard treats and decorate ice cream cakes. Of note, all the competitors seemed to enjoy turning the Blizzard upside down as there were no mistakes whatsoever.

Once again, Spooner and Mikkelson finished the challenge first. Headed towards the Albert County Museum, the hockey heroines found their next clue, but it would prove to be their most difficult challenge yet.

As the Detour was at the Hopewell Rocks, teams had to choose between the “By Land” option or the “By Sea”. Every team opted for “By Sea”, quickly eradicating any time advantages that teams may have had upon their arrival. Instead of opting for “By Land”, where teams to use GPS devices to find hidden treasures, the “By Sea” choice involved all teams learning the tradition of International Sea Flags.

In the middle of a stressful detour, Spooner and Mikkelson kept taking down the sea flags and repositioning them in the hopes of advancing. During their undertaking, the brother/sister team approached them.

With the tenth leg of the race becoming a two-team race to the Pit Stop, tensions rose between the two teams. The siblings pulled over for directions towards the pit stop and noticed the hockey heroines driving by. They tried to point the hockey heroines in the wrong direction. Frustrations would come to a boil at the pit stop as the siblings managed to come out ahead, prompting to Mikkelson to express her frustration, feeling that they played dirty.

Despite the chance to issue some payback, Spooner and Mikkelson maintained their composure during the Detour. As the siblings misplaced their copy of the clue, they asked the other teams for a look. Mikkelson would show them her copy of the clue as she stated that she wanted the race to be fair. Although she would say in the video confessional that she felt like she may have given away half a million dollars, the gesture of decency would not go unnoticed.

Although the hockey heroines thought about switching Detours for the first time in the race, they realized the error of their ways. Seeing that a flag hung on the rope was incorrect (as it looked so similar to the correct flag), they would quickly get back into the race, still holding on to first place.

From there, Spooner would engage in the race’s obligatory roadblock. Participating in a steep rock cliff at Camp Enrage, Spooner not only had to glide down a rope, she had to look for an Amazing Race card hanging off one of the rocks, near some brush. Upon reaching the ground, Spooner had to go to another end of the cliff and climb her way back.

Showing why she is a world class athlete, Spooner applied due diligence and treaded carefully. Although there seemed to be an element of fatigue as she was climbing up the cliff, there was no sign of quit. Despite another team quickly following behind, Spooner would reach the summit first. With Mikkelson, the two would head to a zip line tower and zip down towards a lighthouse where the Pit Stop awaited.

Winning their seventh leg in the race, Spooner and Mikkelson earned $5,000 on their ScotiaBank gold card. In addition, they won a trip anywhere that Air Canada flies in the United States. With a spot in the finals reserved, the hockey heroines have a chance to become the first women to win The Amazing Race Canada.

Photo credits: Mark O’Neill, Bell Media and

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