The Amazing Race: Colorado!

I have a longtime obsession with The Amazing Race, a love affair that started in their fourth season (they’re in their 22nd season; Jamie may-or-may not have bought me boot legged copies of the first few ones I missed). So great is my love for this show that I would forsake my Canuck citizenship and come over to the dark side (become American) for the chance to race.

It started up again a few weeks ago and the kids and I have been faithfully watching every Sunday night. I was thrilled when I learned that this season, there are some Coloradoans “The Roller Derby Moms” competing and one of them actually lives in my town! I connected with them via Twitter saying I wanted to meet with them and one of them pinged me back on Facebook and we’ve exchanged emails. Because of CBS’s strict confidentiality agreement, they can’t do a formal interview until they’re eliminated, after which I’m there! I’d love to learn all the behind-the-scenes stuff you don’t see on TV.

I flew home from Canada on Tuesday and on Wednesday, I suggested Jamie and I go on a lunch date to the Sherpa House Restaurant and Cultural Center. Knowing my obsession with Nepal, my sweet husband bought me a Groupon to this Nelapese restaurant in Golden for my birthday. The authentic decor made made me feel like I was strolling Durbar Square in Kathmandu valley.

When we were standing in line for round two of their buffet, I realized we had inadvertently cut in front of a cool-looking, long-haired dude who was standing back to make room for people leaving the room.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I apologized. “We didn’t mean to cut.”

“No big deal..I’m not going anywhere,” he replied. And as soon as the words left his mouth, something was triggered. I hissed to Jamie, “That guy was on the Amazing Race!”

Jamie glanced back and not recognizing him told me I was mistaken. I wasn’t ready to give it up but also didn’t want to make a fool of myself with mistaken identity so I casually mentioned to Jamie how I’d emailed the Roller Derby Moms this week. The bait was taken hook, line and sinker as his eyes lit up. He turned to me and before he could say a word, I said, “I knew it! You were on the Amazing Race last season?!”

Turns out Mark “Abba” Abbatista lives in Golden and was gracious enough to let me take a picture as we peppered him with questions. He and his teammate were among my favorite teams but were eliminated when a cabbie drove off with their backpacks in Russia, including their passport and VISA. Abba divulged the nightmare that ensured of trying to get out of the country , the emergency VISA issued by the embassy and so much more. He limped around a lot and figured he had a meniscus tear in his knee. Turned out he had much worse: when he arrived home and got his legs X-rayed, he learned he had been running the race on two broken legs.

I could have talked to him for hours but after 10 minutes, we let him rejoin his daughter for lunch (cuz we’re nice like that). When we arrived back at the table, I squealed to Jamie, “Can you believe that? I wasn’t too much like a crazed Amazing Race fan, was I?”

He assured me I wasn’t any more over-the-top than usual.

Take that to mean whatever you want.


Other Posts