A Whitehorse resident was among the competitors in the ninth season of the Amazing Race Canada, a reality television program that sees competitors take on a whirlwind tour of the country and accompanying challenges testing a variety of their skills.
The Whitehorse resident is Lily Bateman who was racing as a team with her best friend Gracie Lowes this season. The pair were eliminated from competition in the season’s fifth episode which aired Aug. 1 and taken out of the running for the grand prize: $250,000 cash, a trip for two around the world and two brand new pickup trucks.
Despite the early exit, Bateman and Lowes were thrilled about their time on the race because it offered an opportunity for the best friends who now live on opposite sides of the country to reconnect. Lowes lives in Ontario and Bateman is in Whitehorse. Speaking to the News a few days after the episode they were eliminated on went to air, the pair noted they had watched it on T.V. together in Lowes’ Ontario hometown.
“So this is actually like the first time since the race that we’ve been in the same place. And the race was the first time in a very long time that we’ve been in the same place. So it’s been a really good opportunity for us to be able to get together and you kind of like celebrate and, and bask in our friendship,” Lowes said.
“We have said that, honestly, the most fun part for us is just getting to spend time together. I mean with me being in the Yukon right now and Gracie in Toronto, and just running the race we’re already missing each other so much because that time was really valuable for us,” Bateman added
“We work full-time jobs and we haven’t lived in the same city since we met five years ago. So honestly, off camera time was just so fun. We are constantly laughing and making jokes and having a great time together.”
From the race’s start line in Winnipeg to Smithers in northern British Columbia to the icy waters off the Vancouver Island communities of Tofino and Uclulet, Bateman and Lowes navigated a route across the country. They completed challenges including setting up tents with members of the Canadian Armed Forces, paddle boarding and free-diving as cameras captured the whole thing.
The fact that Bateman and Lowes weren’t familiar with the parts of Western Canada that their legs of the race took them through was a double-edged sword for the team: On one hand it served as an opportunity for them to see places they’d never been and “check things off the bucket list” but they also found stiff competition from the teams more familiar with the West.
It was during a leg of the race on the western shore of Vancouver Island that Bateman and Lowes were eliminated. The final leg saw Lowes facing fears regarding swimming and heights in successive challenges but things became difficult when the team was put on a double-pass board by another team. This feature of the game show resulted in Bateman and Lowes having to wait for the next team to overtake them. It proved to be an hours-long wait. After rushing to collect a load of kelp for another challenge, Bateman and Lowes were the last to reach the checkpoint on a beach facing the open Pacific Ocean and so were eliminated.
Bateman and Lowes think it was their strong friendship and strong teamwork in the race that won them one of the earlier legs but also saw them targeted with the pass board by one of the other teams. They were taking elimination in stride nonetheless.
“We loved everywhere we went. We had a lot of fun. Honestly, Tofino is beautiful. And as much as the situation wasn’t ideal, we couldn’t help but look around and appreciate the beaches, the warm weather, yeah, so I think we’d go back and maybe put some better vibes in there,” Bateman said.
“I’ll say we were bummed we didn’t get to go to the Yukon on the race. I’ll tell you that I was feeling if we were in the Yukon on that last leg, we wouldn’t have gone home,” Lowes added.
Bateman, who lived in Dawson City before moving to Whitehorse and worked as a card dealer at Diamond Tooth Gerties, said the fast paced environment of the card table helped her with a memory challenge in the first leg of the race more than her physics degree did.
Bateman wasn’t the only Yukon presence on this year’s reality TV calendar as Whitehorse’s Hillary Corley appeared on the most recent season of Farming For Love, a dating program that pairs Canadian farmers with possible romantic matches who might be suited to life on the land. Corley was one of those dating a Comox Valley B.C. livestock and grain farmer named Dave on the program.
Both reality T.V. programs aired on the CTV network.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org