Steve Hubrecht/Columbia Valley Pioneer
A valley couple will be part of Canada’s first-ever Amazing Race.
The American television show features teams of two people following clues and solving puzzles as they race around the world. A Canadian version of the show was launched this year and will feature Fairmont Hot Springs couple Kristen Idiens and Darren Trapp.
“I’m pretty sure my heart stopped beating when I found out we’d made the show,” said Idiens. “It was my fault we applied; I pushed for it. I love every bit of being in challenging situations and seeing how I excel or fail.”
They are both avid nature enthusiasts with an interest in sustainable living and a belief in positive thinking who love being physically fit and active outdoors.
Trapp, 26, works as a whitewater rafting guide and lifeguard, and Idiens, 32, is a Jill-of-all-trades nature guide, teacher and yoga instructor.
They plan to win the race by using their high fitness level, logic, resourcefulness and by maintaining a positive attitude through each challenge.
The couple met at a bonfire in Fairmont several summers ago. Shortly after, they were working together under difficult circumstances when they both volunteered in Cameroon, Africa in a remote, rural area helping a women’s empowerment group.
The experience, and others like it (both Trapp and Idiens have visited or worked in several different countries and done several different jobs), make good training for something like the Amazing Race, according to Idiens.
“Cameroon was a good test for us. We were constantly faced with language barriers and other obstacles. We learned about being okay with challenge and about dealing with the unknown,” she said. “We got good at being well-prepared.”
The couple also thinks living in the Columbia Valley may help give them a leg up on the other teams in the show.
“We’re always out rock climbing, hiking, playing in nature. We’re always walking up all these hills, which keeps us in great shape, so the valley is the perfect place to be in terms of getting ready for this kind of race,” Idiens said.
The race won’t necessarily be totally smooth sailing — their differences (Trapp is a detail-oriented perfectionist while Idiens prefers to fly along at a fast pace) could make for an unbeatable combination of skills, but may also be the couple’s downfall.
“He picks up on the small things that I miss because I’m already up and running in the opposite direction,” said Idiens. “It works out well when we’re getting along, but it’s definitely a problem when we’re butting heads. It creates tension, it creates arguments, and it creates stress in our relationship.”
Trapp and Idiens will be up against eight other teams in the race, including Canadian fitness icons Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod from participACTION’s Body Break television segments.
All of them will be after the grand prize, which includes $250,000 cash, free flying for a year (up to 10 first-class trips for two) anywhere Air Canada goes, and two 2014 Corvettes.
The competition will be strong, since each team brings different strengths to the show, said Idiens.
If Trapp and Idiens win, they plan to use the money to purchase land and build a sustainable, eco-friendly community — complete with homes, a school and retreats — somewhere in the valley.
“We really want to show people you can live comfortably, even luxuriously, and still live in an ecologically friendly way,” said Idiens.
The first episode of the show aired Monday, July 15 on CTV.