After a gruelling three weeks of competition, Vancouver Islanders Tyler Turner and Kayleen VanderRee finished runners up in the Amazing Race Canada and say it was an incredible journey.
The duo from the Comox Valley competed in the show’s ninth season, finishing about 10 minutes behind winners Ty Smith and Kat Kastner from Calgary. Despite coming up just shy of the win, they are very happy with how far they got in the competition.
“We’re super proud of what we accomplished, and it feels good,” said Turner. “It would have been nice to have the $250,000 and a couple of Chevrolets but we’re pretty proud of what we accomplished.”
The experience, however, was one of biggest challenges for the couple especially facing the mental challenges. They say it pushed them to their limits, and winners Smith and Kastner were one of best teams in the show’s history, setting a record average finishing position of 1.63 according to Turner.
“We’ve shown people that we can push through anything. It’s been pretty incredible to see it months later,” said VanderRee.
“Physical challenges are our thing. We both do lots of adventure sports, so the physical stuff was a lot of fun for us but the mental challenges, we knew were going to be challenging, anything with memorization,” added VanderRee.
Turner adds the race feels like it’s turned up to 11 with fast paced challenges and both Turner and VanderRee say the race highlighted the importance of teamwork.
Turner is a Paralympic snowboarder on Team Canada and won gold at the last Winter Olympics. This means he is really his own boss and oversees his failures and successes, but that can create some challenges in competition with others.
“It’s hard to work together, he’s hard on me sometimes,” VanderRee said with a bit of laughter. “We learned that together we can accomplish a lot more and when we’re supporting each other the way we need to then we have a lot more fun on the challenges.”
“We did well when we were bickering the whole way but man it was a lot more efficient when we just worked together and worked smoothly,” added Turner.
The accomplishment of making it to second place is profound for them as they never thought they would make it to the finals, especially because Turner is a double leg amputee and was wheelchair bound only a few months before the race began.
“Our whole mantra was to limit our mistakes sand to go ‘slow is smooth, smooth is fast’,” said Turner. “We saw it work and we just saw other teams just running by clues and stuff. We kept it rolling all the way to the finals and we were just shy.”
Despite not taking the win, both Turner and VanderRee say getting out of your comfort zone will bring the most amount of growth in your life.
“I always say that the best place to find growth is outside of your comfort zone so taking risks, putting a challenge in front of yourself, that’s the best way to grow as a human and that’s how we get better,” said Turner.
“We often find ourselves in a comfortable world and a comfortable place and the way we find joy in life is pushing ourselves, pushing our comfort zones and pushing ourselves to new challenges and the Amazing Race Canada was just one version of that for us,” said VanderRee.