half weeks.) As hard as it is for us to fib, we were contractually obligated not toreveal that we were even
the Race until the cast announcements were made.So we asked Josh's parents to come and help John take care of the farm for amonth, and told everyone that we were going on a "International Cook BookTour." Naturally, no one believed us, and the typical Sharon Springs "chatter"came up with more plausible alibis. We were amused to hear upon our returnthat we had either disappeared to elope, get plastic surgery, adopt children or berehabilitated for one or another controlled substance. (Most of these rumorswere, of course, started by Doug just for fun.)When the cast was finally announced in late August, we were relieved notto have to lie about our absence any longer. Our friend and colleague Meganoffered to host a small pot-luck party at her house each Sunday night, for "aslong as we were still in the Race." At that point, since the competition was longover, we knew we'd still be in the Race for a long time...right up until the end. Butwe didn't want to tell a single person...not Megan, John, Maria, our parents...noone. Part of our reasoning was that we had a multi-million dollar "damagesclause" in our contract. We would've had to pay CBS far more than we'd won if any potential leak could be traced back to us.But more influential than any contract was the fun we knew everyone inSharon Springs would have watching the race unfold just like we experienced it.Namely, thinking that we were going to be eliminated at any minute. In fact, evenbefore the show started airing folks didn't have much confidence in our ability tocompete against so many younger, more physically fit racers. Whenever someone came out and asked us if we'd won, we turned the question around andasked them how
thought we did. The answer was invariably a variation of:"Well...it's a
tough race. I'm sure you did your best."The truth is...we never did think we would win the Race while we wererunning it. We applied because we thought we might be able to get a little morespotlight for our business and Sharon Springs. We've all seen the power of whata TV show can do for tourism around here. And since
The Amazing Race
has 12million viewers each week, we just hoped we would stay in long enough to getsome new attention to the area. As most folks now know, as we were running theRace, leg after leg, we were barely hanging on. We were simply grateful to betaking part in such a...well...amazing experience. Even on the last leg of theRace, when it was down to the final three, I still didn't entertain the thought of winning. The other two teams had won different legs so many times. And wehadn't won once. I distinctly remember saying to the other two teams on the flightfrom France to New York (where the final leg would be run): "Isn't this great?One of you teams will be going home a millionaire tonight." I never thought itwould be us. And when it
turn out to be
us who won, it was simply the mostincredibly exciting moment we'd ever felt.So that's why we didn't let the secret slip. Because we hoped that our friends, family, and neighbors could feel even a fraction of that moment bywatching "in real time." That after weeks of thinking that we were certain to beeliminated, we hoped people would feel that same joyous relief and celebrationwe did. And we were so flattered that everyone gathered together and watchedeach week. But we weren't surprised that folks did. And maybe we shouldn'thave been so surprised that we won either. Because if we've learned anythingfrom our relatively few years in Sharon Springs, it's that by working together,trying our best, and not giving up...amazing things can happen. And they justkeep happening here, don't they? Thanks for letting us be a part of it.