Q&A with ‘Amazing Race’ contestants, UK grads



By Rachel Aretakis

Two former students will wear UK blue on national television, as they compete on The Amazing Race. See Liz and Marie Canavan  on the first episode Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Liz Canavan

Age: 24

Hometown: Deerfield, Ill.

Major: Community & Leadership Development, College of Agriculture

Occupation: Marketing assistant

Marie Canavan

Age: 24

Hometown: Deerfield, Ill.

Major: Community & Leadership Development, College of Agriculture

Occupation: Job hunting

Q. Why did you all want to run the race?

Liz. “We wanted to run the race because we just graduated. It was the perfect time — we were stuck in a time where we didn’t know what we wanted to do. It was just the perfect opportunity.”

Q. How did you prepare?

Liz. “We got a trainer at our gym that helped us a lot. She gave us a lot of tips. And then we would take big backpacks, the hiking backpacks, and we would put 20 pounds in our backpacks and we would literally walk and run almost every day before until the race … We studied maps, we made sure we went to a compass class … to learn how to read a compass just because we knew we’d be directionally challenged, so we really needed that help.”

Q. What were you nervous about? Marie.

“The thing we were nervous about was going to different countries and the language barriers because we really hadn’t ever traveled anywhere besides Mexico. So we thought that would be our biggest obstacle.”

Liz. “We were both worried about being able to read maps.”

Q. Did you learn anything about each other?

Liz. “What we’ve totally learned is that we don’t pay attention to detail. We learned to be more detail-oriented.”

Marie. “I think we just learned more about each other and how we performed in different situations, how we react to certain things. It just brings out the best and the worst of you.”

Q. What was your favorite thing about UK?

Marie. “I think my favorite part of UK is the sense of community. We felt a part of school.”

Liz. “The teachers. I just had a really good experience with each professor I had. Especially because we were in the College of Agriculture.”

Q. Do you have a favorite professor or faculty member?

Liz and Marie. Adviser: Dr. Witham (Deborah Witham, community & leadership development) Professor – Dr. Weckman (Randy Weckman, agricultural communications)

Q. Favorite activity you did at UK?

Liz. “I really enjoyed actually writing for the newspaper when we had to write for our journalism classes. I felt like I was contributing to the school.” Marie. “I just overall loved all my classes in the agriculture school.”

Q. Do you plan on coming back to Kentucky a lot?

Liz and Marie. (in unison) “Yeah! We’re going to be back for Keeneland in two weeks. We are excited about it.”

Q. How was it adjusting after you got back from the race?

Liz.“It was sad. I mean because it was really fun, traveling and doing so many fun and crazy things. So it was hard, but I’m excited to watch it on Sunday and show everyone what happened.” (They said the show filmed in five weeks.)