Others raced solely for the million dollars, but for the Greenes, the prize was much greater: the opportunity to possibly salvage their marriage. The South Tampa couple left for a whirlwind trek around the globe on CBS’s “The Amazing Race 13” and placed second (seven minutes behind first). They returned home with renewed hope for a second chance together.
Ken: “I love Tina, because she is a rare combination of beauty, brilliance with a caring and giving heart for the less fortunate.”
Tina: "Kenny is a wonderful blend of warmth, fun and adventure wrapped up in a great package! He has truly captured my imagination and my heart.”
MORE ON KEN & TINA...
Seven years ago, Ken and Tina were introduced by a mutual friend. Two years later, they married and came together with five combined grown children between them ranging in age from 24 to 28. According to Ken, a former college football coach for 14 years and in the NFL himself before that, there was just something there from the moment he laid eyes on his wife. “She’s very beautiful and there’s a soft, gentle spirit about her,” he says. Tina, a CEO for a local biotech and pharmaceutical placement company, says Ken is the perfect balance to her tendency to prefer the fast pace. “He’s fun and teaches me to stop and smell the roses,” she says with a laugh. “He’s got such a positive attitude about life that you love being around him.”
The two, always active and adventurous in sports and travels abroad, were fans of the reality competition series for year, having seen every previous season before entering themselves. Tina says the application and selection process was a test in itself. “It was a long, drawn-out process. We were separated at the time – Kenny had been in San Diego building and I had already moved back to Tampa but for a whole month we went through psychiatric testing, physical evaluation and casting director meetings,” she says. “We only found out about a month before we left that we were being selected!” They were accepted after applying their first time, an uncommon feat in the world of reality television.
The dangers and mysteries of traveling abroad and competing in often high-endurance challenges didn’t worry Ken and Tina. Having your life and relationship exposed to everyone in the world so completely was their only reservation. “When you agree to do a show like that, you’re exposing your personal life to the world. Tina’s even more private than me. But once we were chosen, we were so excited to get started. We’re real adventure travelers in our own lives and we knew that physically, we were up to the challenge,” he says. Tina notes her biggest surprise in watching the shows later was how conversation snip-its could be moved around and taken out of context. “Most surprising to me was that they could take something I said once and play it 20 times,” she says with a laugh. “You are miked the whole time in the race, so you just don’t know what they will use. Other than that, I think they did an exceptional job considering how much footage they had of every team.”
Tina says the couple’s different personalities and backgrounds were such an asset in the competition. “I think we both agree his strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. Kenny having coaching experience really helped. He was patient with people and he challenged me to push through my fears.”
One aspect of their Amazing Race run that was not featured after editing was the team’s decision to keep their separated status hidden from the other teams. “We thought they might use this information to drive a greater wedge between us, so we never told any of the teams. Only the producers knew,” Tina says. “When Ken brought out our wedding rings at the end of the race, the other teams were completely stunned to learn that we had been separated.”
The couple placed in second to a twenty-something brother and sister team and just missed the first place spot by a reported 7 minutes. Returning home last May, they weren’t allowed to tell friends or family they were on the show until August when the show began airing, and keeping the outcome a secret was yet another challenge. But Tina says the local buzz and excitement about their run in the race was the most fun to watch from here at home. “It was incredible to see how many lives we touched. There were parties each week in Tampa and St. Pete and one in Seattle and San Francisco where we have family or lived before,” she says.
Since their return, Ken and Tina have been discussing with several cable networks a special televised renewal of their wedding vows on broadcast television and hope to raise funds for a charity during the event. Recently, Tina also was named Chairperson of the Board for the Children’s Cancer Center, an organization with which she’s had a long history. “I’ve been with them for many years, starting as a volunteer there years ago. The Center is a wonderful organization that seeks to help local families continue to pay their rent and keep them in their homes throughout very costly cancer treatment programs,” she says.
Ken says that the couple loves taking part in outdoor activities, especially on the water since Tina hails from California and Ken grew up in the mountains of Washington state and were surprised (and a little disappointed) there weren’t more water-related challenges during their season. When they’re not working, they love kayaking and fishing, going to all of the Bucs games, entertaining and anything football-related. Ten months ago, the two also became grandparents for the first time which they say has also been a blessing and they love spending time with their new grandson whenever they can.
To couples who might be struggling or contemplating separation as Ken and Tina had, they’d like to offer a little advice. Ken says taking the time to stop and examine your relationship is invaluable. “Never be in a hurry to do anything drastic. There is time to just stand back and sigh and pray. At no time will a relationship always be easy. But you have to take care of one another,” he says. Tina also notes the importance of faith to helping them strengthen their marriage. “Finding our way back to the Lord and helping our son launch a new church in St Pete has been really important in rebuilding our marriage. We’ve even been asked to be elders in the church,” she says. “Refocusing our faith helped us find each other again.”
(Photo by Mitchell Davis and courtesy of skirt! Tampa Bay Magazine)
Tribune photo by JAY CONNER
When she's not globetrotting following clues on "The Amazing Race," Tina Greene spends time at The Children's Cancer Center and is president of BioPharmMed executive search firm.
By WALT BELCHER | The Tampa Tribune Published: September 27, 2008
TAMPA - While Tina Hunter Greene was thrilled to get on CBS' "The Amazing Race," the Tampa executive says she had doubts about exposing her personal life on national television.
She was concerned about revealing how her six-year marriage to former NFL defensive back Ken Greene came unraveled.
When the Greenes auditioned for the show last year, they had been separated for several months. But they were still seeing each other about once a month, she says.
He was in San Diego. She was in Tampa. Both Christians, they were trying to work things out. They decided to test the relationship by going on a grueling, hectic, nerve-wracking 30,000-mile challenge.
The CBS news release that announced the cast noted that "his poor choices and infidelity tore their marriage apart, and he prays that the 'Race' will help Tina to trust him again."
Greene, known professionally as Tina Hunter Stewart, says she has read online comments and blogs where people questioned the wisdom of using a game show to save a marriage.
"I beg to differ," she says. "From the initial moment we each filled out the 13-page personal profile, it felt like we had been through marriage therapy. And a producer told me that 'after spending every second together for a month by the end of the race, clearly you will know if you want to be with this man,' and I took that to heart."
The Greenes' journey of self-discovery plays out beginning at 8 tonight when "Amazing Race" begins its 13th season, fresh off winning its sixth Emmy as best reality show.
They are one of 11 new teams on a 30,000-mile trek that spans five continents. The prize is $1 million. It starts in Los Angeles. Stops include Brazil, Cambodia, Kazakhstan and Bolivia.
Producer and creator Bertram van Munster says "some reality shows go downhill and run out of ideas, but we keep making it better each time."
In a telephone interview, van Munster, who has traveled the equivalent of 40 times around the world, says Tina Greene was a lot feistier than he thought she would be. And Ken Greene turned out to be the easygoing guy who went with the flow. "She has some good moments," he says. "You're going to see some fireworks."
"The race was the hardest thing I have ever done physically, mentally and emotionally," says Tina Greene, who, at 48, is physically active in sports such as kayaking, mountain biking and soccer.
The Santa Barbara, Calif., native was a whiz in college and joined Revlon after graduation. She later became an executive at Avon. Her first marriage ended when her son, John, was 2 years old.
In 1991, she started BioPharmMed, a company that recruits high-level employees in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. After living in numerous cities throughout the country, she settled in Tampa in 1993.
John, a graduate of Berkeley Prep, is entering the ministry and plans to start a church in St. Petersburg, Greene says.
Greene is chairwoman of the board of The Children's Cancer Center, which provides emotional, financial and educational support to children who have cancer or chronic blood disorders and their families.
A family friend introduced her to Ken Greene, who was on the coaching staff at Purdue at the time. Now 52, he was an All-American standout at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers before leaving the NFL in 1984.
After they married, he took an assistant coaching job at Washington State. She leased her home and moved there. After they separated, she returned to Tampa. He moved to San Diego, where he is working as a building contractor.
He recently told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that they "struggled with the marriage from the beginning" and "talked about going our separate ways but never did."
He also said that he "made some poor decisions. It affected a lot of people, and I feel bad about that. ... I wish I could do it over, but I can't."
Tina Greene says they aren't the oldest couple on the show. Hippies Anita and Arthur are in their 60s.
"But at least 70 percent of the others were younger than our children and they called us 'mom and dad,' " Tina says.
Tina Greene can't say whether they won or are still together, but she says that it was one of the greatest experiences of her life. "I think I was the only one who didn't want it to end," she says. "I wanted to go on. It was great not having a laptop, or cell phone, or meetings and to be just focused on one thing. For weeks afterward, I would wake up at night wanting to go out and get that next clue and get to the next destination."
Whether Greene and her husband, former pro football player Ken Greene, reconcile is part of this season’s Amazing Race story line.
In a 'Race' to save their marriage Eric Deggans, Times TV/Media Critic Sunday, September 28, 2008
Local businesswoman Tina Hunter Greene can't say what happens on the show.
She knows it sounds insane — trying to fix a marriage fractured by separation and infidelity by embarking on a globe-hopping, nationally televised reality TV show.
Though local businesswoman Tina Hunter Greene can't divulge details of her and husband Ken Greene's time on the 13th cycle of CBS's hit travel competition The Amazing Race, the twinkle in her eyes when her partner's name comes up may say it all.
Greene, 49, won't say whether her husband is moving from his California home to Tampa, noting the progression of their relationship is a story line on the show. But she does say that, from the moment they began filling out CBS's 13-page application, she knew their time on The Amazing Race would make or break their reconciliation.
"I learned a lot of things about how Ken looked at me, and how I looked at him that I didn't really know," Greene said. "You either grow to respect and love your partner, or you don't. And that will all be played out on TV."
Crisp and cheery in a fire engine red suit, Greene seems more urbane professional than globe-hopping competitor. But when the opportunity came to apply for the show last November, she suggested to her husband, an ex-professional football player, that they film a video to try for a slot.
"I didn't seek out the Race to save the marriage, but it came at a time that we were at a make-or-break situation," she said.
He was a former player for the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers who migrated to college coaching at Fresno State, Purdue and finally Washington State. She was a well-traveled, hard-charging business owner willing to move from Tampa to Washington state for their marriage about five years ago.
But last year, something happened. A commercial for Race depicts Ken Greene admitting an infidelity, and he resigned as cornerbacks coach for WSU in May 2007.
Tina Greene declined to comment on the specifics of her husband's mistakes or job change. But the two were living in separate cities by the end of 2007 — she in Tampa and he in San Diego, where he was working as a home builder.
Ask whether their stint on Race might be the most expensive marriage counseling ever, she laughs.
"One of the producers said to me, when I was waffling a bit on doing this, 'If you do this race, when you step off the plane, you will know whether you want to be with this man.' "
Still, when friend Mary Ann Massolio heard Greene was competing, she thought her pal was participating in some local version of the CBS hit.
"Once I figured out what she meant, it made perfect sense," said Massolio, executive director of the Children's Cancer Center, which provides counseling, financial assistance and other support to the families of children struggling with cancer.
Now, Greene is chairwoman of the center's board — a volunteer so focused, one of her first questions was how to best promote the group on the show.
"She's very athletic, she's very driven and they have an interesting story," Massolio said. "I thought 'If you want to go public with that, God love you . . . Go for it.' "
To prepare, Greene jogged with 30-pound weights, trained with an ex-officer from MacDill Air Force Base and brainstormed strategies with Ken.
She got sick, notching a fever of 103 degrees, while competing in a 30,000-mile race across five continents in 23 days (CBS revealed the race starts in Brazil, ends on Portland, Ore. and has 11 pit stops total). A $1-million prize and national fame waiting at the end for the winner.
"We get to take the ordinary everyday person . . . and say, 'Here's an experience that even a million dollars couldn't buy,' " host Phil Keogan said in July. Last Sunday, he helped accept the show's record sixth Emmy as best reality TV show.
"What really works is when people come to the show, not because they want to be famous . . . (but) because they want to change their perspective," he said.
"God put this in our lives at this time for a very specific reason," Greene said. "Even though it was extremely tough and I wouldn't like to play out my personal life on national TV, hopefully we'll touch some lives and it might help others."
Eric Deggans' blog, The Feed, is at blogs.tampabay.com/media.
Ken Greene carried around the couple’s wedding rings throughout the competition.
By Eric Deggans, Times TV/Media Critic
In print: Monday, December 8, 2008
Even after the final episode aired Sunday night, it was tough to decide who actually won this fall's edition of CBS' travel competition The Amazing Race.
Technically, that honor fell to brother and sister Nick and Starr Spangler, who were shown leading most of the way through a final race leg that stretched from Moscow to Portland, Ore., where the two met host Phil Keoghan at the finish line and won $1-million. The win capped a competition that spanned 23 days, five continents and nearly 40,000 miles of travel.
But Tampa businesswoman Tina Greene and husband Ken also left the race as winners of a different sort, rekindling an on-the-rocks marriage through the competition and redonning their wedding rings during the finale episode's last moments.
"I've been crying since I saw the end of the show," said Tina Greene, calling from a finale party organized by CBS in New York City on Sunday. "I feel like I let Ken down; if I had been a little more aggressive … maybe we would have won. But when Kenny pulled those rings out, I didn't care about the $1-million." Tina Greene said second-place prize money totaled $25,000.
Ken Greene said he had been carrying their wedding rings around, without Tina's knowledge, for the entire race, certain that he would know whether to pull them out and suggest a recommitment by the time the action finished. Now, after throwing all his belongings in a truck and driving 43 hours to Tampa from San Diego in September, the former pro football player is ready to publicly resume his life with his wife.
"I figured when I pulled the rings out, she had no choice, with all those people around," he said Sunday, laughing about the way he surprised Tina at the finish line with her wedding ring, which she accepted with tears. "And after all we'd been through (on the race), if I didn't win her back now, I never could."
In the show's final episode, Ken Greene let his fellow competitors in on a secret — that he and his wife had been separated before the race began.
"I'm asking you to start this thing all over again," he said then, as tears began to choke up his voice a bit. "And we'll do it right this time."
Twenty-something fraternity brothers Andrew Lappitt and Dan Honig — dubbed Team "Superbad" for their resemblance to the nerds depicted in the movie of the same name — came in a distant third, to the surprise of almost no one, including Lappitt and Honig.
Starting in Moscow, the race's three remaining teams piled onto a flight to the final city, Portland, with each pair after the $1-million prize. But as the groups dashed out of the Portland airport, Team Superbad made a race-ending mistake — picking a cabdriver who had no idea how to reach the landmark they were racing toward.
Instead, the Spanglers and the Greenes sped through the final leg's challenges, separated from each other by minutes during much of the competition. One crucial hitch: a challenge in which teams had to walk across a log suspended 30 feet high; thanks to a fear of heights, Tina Greene got hung up here and the Spanglers pulled ahead.
Now that the competition is over, Ken and Tina Greene each blame themselves — Tina fears her delays on the log cost too much time, Ken frets that he could catch a cab sooner. But despite doubts from friends and fans that getting on a reality show would save their marriage, their time on The Amazing Race seems to have done exactly that.
"I wouldn't do it again, and I wouldn't recommend it," said Ken Greene. "But for us, it looks like it worked out."
[Last modified: Dec 09, 2008 09:49 AM]
Exclusive: Ken and Tina Greene talk about 'The Amazing Race 13'
'realitytvworld'; By John Bracchitta, 12/09/2008
For Ken and Tina Greene, The Amazing Race 13 was about much more than simply competing for a cash prize.
Less than one year after their separation following five years of marriage, both Ken, a 51 year-old home-builder and ex-NFL player from San Diego, FL and Tina, a 48 year-old president of BioPharmMed from Tampa, FL, saw their participation on the race as a last ditch effort to see if their relationship would was meant to be or not. While they fell short of the grand prize and finished second to "Brother and Sister" Nick an Starr Spangler, Ken and Tina were able to win their own challenge as they reconciled their relationship.
On Monday, Ken and Tina talked to Reality TV World about what troubles they encountered while trying to fix their relationship and compete at the same time, which team they were unable to strike up a friendship with on the show, and how Tina reacted after learning that Nick had stolen her GPS equipped taxi in the tenth leg.
Reality TV World: Did you think you had any chance of catching up to Nick and Starr in the final stretch of the last leg, or were they too far ahead of you?
Tina: No, they were only 5-7 minutes ahead, we definitely could catch them. We were ahead of them at the clue boxes and we definitely knew that they were well in sight.
Ken: When we left the clue boxes, they took off before us. Our cab driver actually caught back up to them and we were side-to-side for a few minutes and then their cab driver pulled ahead, so we were close. Going into the green [dinosaur] it was very close. It was almost simultaneous, they came around one side and we came around the other, but they saw the [dinosaur] in the window immediately and we were pulled off in another direction.
Reality TV World: About how far behind Nick and Starr did you end up arriving at the finish line, was it only 5-7 minutes?
Tina: It was 5-7 minutes.
Ken: I think 5-15 [minutes] is a pretty reasonable guesstimate.
Reality TV World: What do you think was the final difference-maker during that final stretch? Was it Nick and Starr's ability to complete the memory board before you or was it your difficulty in finding a taxi after the Voodoo donut shop clue?
Tina: I think it was actually, I mean my opinion was [when we were] trying to find a cab because we had one heck of a time finding a cab. One stopped and Ken offered him $50, now he's saying he wishes he would've offered him $100 or $150 because that could have made the difference right there.
Ken: And I just should say, Nick and Starr were flawless on that last leg. They didn't make any mistakes and they did an outstanding job, and even through all that we still had a chance to win in the end and we just didn't quite get it done. So we just tip our hats to them, they did a great job.
Tina: Yeah they sure did.
Reality TV World: Just to take a step back for a moment, could I just ask how long had you been married and then separated before going on the race?
Tina: Yeah, it was five years -- July 5 of this year -- and we've known each other seven years yesterday, we were introduced seven years ago. We got separated the July before the race, so by the time we went on the race it had been about, I guess, nine months.
Reality TV World: Whose idea was it to apply for the show?
Tina: It was mine. I've been a big fan of the show since the beginning, and Ken loved the show too and we always talked about how we should do this together and he coached so we couldn't. And when he went into home building and were seeing each other, he came for Thanksgiving weekend and I had found out that the applications had to go in that Monday, so I had him print it out and I said "If you want to do this, we've got to fill these applications out and shoot a three minute video." So we kinda winged the video at the last minute and the [Fed Ex-ed it in] on the way to the airport, and then the rest is history I guess.
Reality TV World: When you were applying for the show, did you see it as an opportunity to test your relationship?
Ken: Oh we knew absolutely that [The Amazing Race] would be the final testing ground to see if we were going to make it or brake it, that was our main objective going in. We knew that when we finished on that finish line it was either "Yes, we're together" or "No, we're going our separate ways."
So it helped us fortify our relationship and realize that we are different, but we have a lot of strengths in one another that we really appreciate and just hope to keep cultivating the marriage.
Reality TV World: You said it was kind of "make it or break it," were you worried at times -- because there were lots of ups and downs that everyone [went through on the race] -- that the race and the emotions that went with it would hurt your relationship more than help it?
Ken: I thought there were two of three times in the race where I thought to myself, and she did too, "This is not gonna fly. Let's get through it and then go our separate ways." But then you work and you see the other part of it and we had so many good moments that made me realize "No, I definitely don't wanna let her go, I'd love to be with her for the rest of my life," so that's what was my final feeling.
(To Tina) I don't know about you...
Tina: Yeah, I think the race tests you on so many levels, but it also exposes. I saw some strengths in Ken that I never even knew were there, and his strengths are definitely my weaknesses and my strengths are definitely his weaknesses.
You know, none of the other racers knew we were separated -- that was something that we just wanted to keep to ourselves so no one kinda put a wedge in between us -- and they were all floored in the end when we were on the mat and they found it out. I mean, you could see every jaw drop and they were all in tears and so were all the camera men and the sound guys. I was balling last night watching it again, it was a real emotional night last night.
But [The Amazing Race] was such a blessing in our lives and we know that, even though we didn't win the million and of course we wanted to, we won something that's going to be a lot more lasting and had a wonderful experience.
Reality TV World: How has your relationship been going since the completion of the race?
Ken: It's been great. You know obviously it's a work in progress, as it will be until the day we die. That's part of marriage, nothing's perfect, nothing is automatic and is something you have to work with every day.
It's kind of like this economy, you've got struggles, there's difficult times, but if you're committed you'll work through it and you'll make the best of a bad situation so when the good times come you can really appreciate the good times.
We feel like we're in the good times now.
Tina: I mean, just to give you a little insight, Ken drove 43-straight-hours in a U-Haul with all of his things from San Diego to Tampa to be with me and arrived on my birthday morning. I think that said a lot to me, and to everyone, that we're very serious about making this work.
Reality TV World: That's great! Moving back to the show now, Ken you joked during the last leg that Nick and Starr were benefiting from having a "horseshoe up their rear ends," Do you think that their good luck was what put them ahead of you in the end?
Ken: I think that they had a pretty hot streak going where they were having all the breaks going their way. We had it early in the race, and that's how you win a lot of these legs. It's not based totally on abilities, there are a lot of other factors that come into play, which predominantly are the cabs. That's the one that is make or break for the most part.
But there are other issues that can make it really good for you [too], so yeah they were on a roll and they had some really good things happen to them. But the bottom line is, when we got to that last day, that last stage, we did two things head on: We did the climbing and they beat us in that, and we did the [clue boxes] and they beat us in that. They were definitely deserving.
Reality TV World: When it came to that Detour challenge, it did involve heights, and Tina you had said throughout the race many times that you have a fear of heights. Was the clue for that unclear and not say that things were going to be up in the air?
Tina: No, it really didn't. I mean, I kind of assumed when there was a "high" one and a "low" one, but the way the clue read we felt it was going to be faster and that's generally how we made all of our decisions. I guess God was testing me because we did quite a number of height challenges on this race! (laughs). Hopefully I'm getting over that fear now.
My one big mistake [during the Detour] was I didn't realize that when Nick and Starr got there that they were running on another [course] parallel to us. I was watching Ken do it and then they were mounting the camera on me -- which I wish they had mounted it on Ken -- but I thought they had to wait behind us to do it. So I think I would have done that task a lot faster and not said that my helmet was falling off and choking me, and not been as scared and probably been more aggressive.
I didn't even realize that, just down the way, [Nick and Starr] were doing the same thing quickly. We ended up running down the hill really fast and caught up with them and jumped in our cab right as they were pulling out, so it didn't make a huge difference. But, kind of like when we went on the zip line, I was the first to go and then Ken, and I knew they had to wait.
Reality TV World: When did you realize that [they didn't have to wait during the Detour], was it after the challenge or mid-way through?
Tina: No, I didn't even realize until I jumped and grabbed the clue, and then when I was coming down with the clue they were running off and then I realized and I was like "What's going on?" and [Ken] was like "Honey, they finished."
I was oblivious, you know you get so focused on the race, especially if you're scared. (laughs) I was the shortest of the four of us and it was further for me to jump to that dang bar!
Reality TV World: Tina, if we could go back a few legs, you seemed to ruffle a few feathers when people thought you incorrectly took credit for getting the airline to use a larger plane on that flight to Fortaleza. Were you surprised by that reaction?
Tina: A little bit, because it's all intent and I think sometimes people make more out of it than not. The whole intent of that, whether or not it came across that way, was that it's hard when you hear the "Go" and you get your first clue and you want to run and do the race. To think about sitting in the airport for 4-5 hours kind of takes that adrenaline out of everyone, and I think there was a lot of infighting going on between teams and it was more just to say "Hey guys, chill out. We're all gonna be on the same plane, they switched it, whatever."
It wasn't more to blow my own horn or say "Thank me" or whatever, it really wasn't intended that way. It was just like, hey we're all gonna get on it, we're all gonna get to run the race.
But then when we got in line, Ken and I both felt that they had told us down there that we were going to be first on [the flight] because you couldn't get boarding assignments, and then there was that little altercation with [Terrence Gerchberg]. Ken can address part of the plane thing, (to Ken) can't you?
Ken: Well, a lot of people didn't think she'd made a difference in getting another plane, and she did. Instead of none of us getting on the earlier flight and having to sit in the airport for an additional few hours, or all of us getting a flight and getting the next challenge. Like she said, they got us a bigger plane, so it benefited everybody. It didn't just benefit us.
So when they started questioning her integrity as far as if she was telling the truth, that's when I got a little heated. I was sitting there, I saw the whole thing. And if you watched the episode you saw that she, in fact, did cause that thing to happen.
Still though, even today, there are people who are like "Oh yeah right." But if you can't look at the TV and see the facts I guess you're deaf, dumb and blind.
Reality TV World: Tina, I actually had another question for you. We just spoke with Nick, and he said that neither of you had realized that he had stolen your taxi with the GPS during the tenth leg until you watched the show, and he said that you were a little put off by that?
Tina: Well, I'm the type of person... I know it's a race, and I know anybody can do whatever they want to do, but we did have an early alliance with them, and when he taunted me and kind of lied to me in the temple... I didn't talk to anybody else about it, I'm not the type to talk behind people's backs, and I think you'll notice throughout the show that Ken and I were never disparaging any team, we're just not like that. We would rather try to work together and find redeeming qualities in everybody if it's possible, and with some of [the teams] it was hard to find those, but we looked for them.
But with Nick, I addressed it with him when we got to the Pit Stop and I just said it would have been fine to hide the clue, that's your prerogative, but you lied to me and you taunted me by saying "Hey Tina, did you find anything?"
So he'd already apologized and we'd already had our little confrontation over that, so there was no way in heck he was going to tell me that he stole my cab with the GPS, but he did tell me that night that "Oh it was so easy, my guy just took me straight to the antique bookstore and then he knew right where to go."
They didn't show all of the things I went through: three different cabs and running all over and having one heck of a time getting where I needed to go.
So when I saw the show, and in fact there have been a lot of people writing on our web site, kennyandtina.com, and on Facebook and on email that "We hate Nick and Starr" and "Nick is so devious, he stole your cab with the GPS."
So no I had no idea until I saw the show and I was a little upset. But, you know, it's all in good fun.
Reality TV World: You both managed to finish in second place despite surviving finishing last in a non-elimination round and having to complete a Speed Bump challenge on the following leg. As you made your way through that ordeal did either of you think that you would still get as far and make it as far as you ended up going?
Ken: Well we felt like if we could survive that leg... We never had any doubts that we could win the whole race, I don't think that was ever a question. But when we got last on that one particular leg, we had done the two tasks as quickly as we could possibly done them. I just think we had poor luck in finding cabs.
So once we survived that and made it to the next leg and then got fourth instead of being eliminated completely, we realized that we still had a chance to win the race. That never changed. I think we believed that until the final running up to the mat when we got second.
Reality TV World: You both said at different times that you felt like something of a parental figure to some of the younger teams and even included each of you sometimes helping other teams. Was that a role that either of you expected to take on while on the race?
Ken: No. (Both laugh)
Tina: I think it all started with Nick and Starr calling us "Mom and Dad," that's what they nicknamed us when they were narrowing down the teams to eleven out in Los Angeles.
Ken: They set us up with that, they softened us right away.
Tina: It probably was a ploy. But, to be honest with you, most of those teams are younger than our youngest child, our youngest child is 24 and our oldest child is 28. So it's a fact, they all could've been our children and when you see them struggling, like when I saw Toni struggling or Dan or Andrew, you wanna help them because you kind of envision your own children struggling at something.
Reality TV World: What was the hardest thing that either of you did while on the race?
Tina: Well I think for me definitely, and this will be different for Ken obviously, but it was climbing the [Auckland] Sky tower. It was very windy and it was hard work climbing up those rungs. It's an extremely tall structure and I was scared, but I'm proud of myself that I did it.
It was an unbelievable experience to get on a helicopter and fly through a rainbow and see so much of New Zealand. We were really rewarded for our efforts, but that was the toughest thing I did.
Ken: The [one most physical] challenge was the heavy bags [filled with flour], but the most difficult day was the Russia day we started out with the buses and then had to find that last clue and couldn't find it and we virtually ran for three hours. We were dropped off trying to find that clue box and we'd been running and walking for three hours in a panic trying to find it [and] knowing that the other teams were starting to close in on us.
That was probably the most difficult day for me mentally, and it was exhausting! We started at 6AM and finished at 7:30PM that night and I think I had a Snickers bar all day and no water. Tina didn't have anything [to eat] that I can remember, so we were physically spent. Then we went on the short day, the short turnaround going to Portland, OR so we weren't as refreshed as we would have liked to have been. But that's the way the race works.
Tina: What they didn't show there too is that our trolley bus actually let us off probably a half-mile down and the other teams were dropped off right by that clue box, which made it much easier to spot. We were dropped off quite a ways down, and that's where the confusion came in.
Reality TV World: What teams did you get along with the best and worst with?
Ken: That's a loaded question my brother! (Both laugh) I felt like we got along with all the teams very well. Initially we didn't get along with Terence and [Sarah Leshner], but we turned out to love them. I think [we didn't initially have any bond with Aja Benton] and [Ty White] but now we're as close as you can get.
The one team that I struggled with during most of the race, which I don't know if Tina did or not, was [Christy Cook] and [Kelly Crabb]. You know, they were doing their own thing and they were very competitive and I didn't like some of their tactics, so I didn't really particularly care for them for most of the race. But after it all concluded, like everything else, we really enjoyed everybody and feel really thankful to have this crew to run with and do the race with.
Reality TV World: Is there anything that you expected to make it onto the show that was edited out?
Tina: That's a really good question, there were a lot of things. Ken and I have this funny thing [where] he's always said we're Green Acres, he's country and I'm city, and he likes to sing that song and have me do my part and him do his part. When he was moving the flour bags he started singing that, I think trying to make it a little more fun and a little bit better for him. None of that made it on, I think that woulda been cute.
But other than that, just some of the things that happened and explained things a little bit more because I think that sometimes... You know, we've really had a tremendous response from fans. It's been unbelievable and such a blessing, so many people pulling for us and so many people wanting us to win. They even told us at the parties last night "You guy's had the biggest cheers and people wanted you to win." Everywhere we go or travel we have people running up to us in airports and subway stations and everything [saying] "Please tell me you're back together." We get recognized a lot, it's amazing.
So they must have shown enough good things to kind of overshadow some of the negative. (laughs)
Reality TV World: Have you gotten to go on any of the trips that you both won by winning all of the legs of the race that you did?
Ken: (sarcastically) I'm going on two, she hasn't been on any. (Tina laughs) But no, they haven't given us our trips yet, so we'll be getting those in the future.
Tina: And we're excited, we can't wait!
We're working on trying to do some type of adventure/travel show because we both have a lot of experience with travel and making exciting trips and being adventurous. We think we can show other people really how to explore and see areas instead of just going to a resort and just staying there and being at the beach or pool or whatever.
So what we're hoping to talk to CBS and some other possibilities about maybe doing something like that. All of the other teams were saying "You should have The Kenny and Tina Show, you guys are so funny." I don't think that they all realized the struggles that we were having, so it was refreshing to see.
By Marlene Benedicto
Ken and Tina in talks for new travel show
TVGuide.ca: I’m sorry about your elimination, you came so close! How far behind Nick and Starr were you in that last leg?
Tina: Well, we heard a lot of different things. I heard five to seven minutes, seven minutes from one of the producers. Ken has heard as much as 15 minutes but it was pretty darn close.
TVG: You were obviously a very strong team. What did you do to prepare yourselves for the Race?
Ken: We are physical fitness buffs anyway so we were already in pretty good shape. We just trained at different levels - start training with our backpacks, a little bit more climbing - those kinds of things. Then we started playing our little board games, trying to get our minds refreshed, so we did a few things like that.
Tina: I also trained down at the McMillar Air Force base with an ex-colonel and did some of the drills they do with the new recruits and he taught me how to climb a rope. Ken practiced rope tying, which probably helped in New Zealand, and we watched all the old shows.
TVG: Participating in the Race is stressful on any team - let alone for a separated couple. What made you think this would be a good way to test your relationship?
Ken: Well, we felt first of all, we knew it was going to be time spent together because we were living off opposite coasts. I was up at San Diego, she was in Tampa and we felt like if we just got together occasionally, which we were doing at that point, it was never going to work. So we felt like we take this time and be confined together, we had to spend time working through the relationship. We felt like that would be our best chance and we knew that when it was all over, that it would be all back together or all gone and thank goodness it all came back together.
TVG: So you’re back together now?
Tina: Yes, definitely. Ken actually packed up everything in a U-haul and drove 43 straight hours from San Diego to Tampa to be here the morning of my birthday. We’ve got things to work on like every couple does. I went back and forth about doing the Race. It was a difficult decision because I love the Race. I wanted to do it so bad, but I was little bit nervous about bearing our personal lives on national TV and a lot of people thought we were crazy to it but I think it was a true blessing we were selected. I think it was meant to be and even though a lot of the editing you see on TV shows conflict, we did have a lot of really good times. Most of the other teams didn’t even know that we were separated. We didn’t want to tell them because we didn’t want them to use that as a wedge between us and they all thought we had a great marriage, a great relationship. Many of them called us ‘Mom and Dad’ and we got really close with some of the younger ones and they all said ‘You should have the Kenny and Tina Show. You guys are hilarious.’ I think we saw some positive things come out of that.
TVG: Tina, you tried to help out other teams at different points in the Race. Do you think that was a mistake?
Tina: I think hindsight is always 20/20. You can’t change who you are and I think both Ken and I – and they didn’t show a lot of the things Ken did to help the other teams – I think both of us were helpful of the other teams. We really liked them. We really built some early alliances. We really respect Mark and Bill’s intelligence, Terrance and Sarah’s athleticism, and Sarah bright mind, and Nick and Starr ... As the show went on, it’s hard not to build alliances when you look at them and they’re the age of our children and some of them are younger than our kids. It’s hard not to help when they’re stumbling. I don’t think it made a big difference in the game because Nick and Starr played a flawless game and they were a very strong team, both mentally and physically. Some of it was luck, some of it was the cab situation, but they wouldn’t have had as many firsts and won the million if they weren’t a great team.
TVG: What were your strategies in competing in the Race?
Ken: Just to think on our feet and try and make sure we understood the tasks before we performed them and we felt like you’re in a better position to win it by yourself - one team in particular tried to go out on their own and I think it came back to haunt them later. Earlier in the Race the alliances were an advantage because you had more people working together to try to get through your tasks. Other than that, we wanted to play a good, fair, clean game. We wanted to be respectful of everybody in the Race and one day be able to look back and feel good about what we had done and how we had conducted ourselves.
TVG: How much travelling did you do with each other prior to the Amazing Race?
Tina: We’ve done a lot of travelling together. I’ve done a lot of travelling in my life even before Ken and I were married just business. But together, as a coach he used to have the month of July off and we used to leave the country just to get away from everything. We’ve travelled to Costa Rica, Thailand, Australia, Europe, South America, Canada ... We did a lot of travelling together so we knew that from that perspective, we were good. The thing that we hadn’t practiced was not eating and not drinking any water. I would say with dehydration, we both lost quite a bit of weight so we both were stressed because of the limited amount of food and water and sleep. I think that changed a little bit of the dynamics between us, including our problems that we had coming in. That’s why we say we’d love to do an All Stars or I’d love to see them take all the second place teams from the 13 races and let them re-run again and I think you’d see a much more positive, strong, cohesive team in the two of us based on where we are personally now than where we were when we ran the Race.
TVG: Were there any countries you wish you had seen?
Ken: We wanted to go to Israel, that was our primary focus and we had a Visa made for that. Africa was another one that we thought would be very interesting and looked forward to going to. But, for the most part, we got to see some of the countries we never would have dreamed of going to. Kazakhstan, for instance, is one that is not on the travel guides and that was a beautiful country. And then, New Zealand; we always wanted to go there.
TVG: What was the most challenging part of the Race?
Tina: My hardest part was probably climbing Sky Tower in Auckland. It’s the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere and we had a lot of equipment on and camera’s mounted on our backs and we had to climb up to the very top and I had a fear of heights and it was swaying in the wind the higher you got. But we were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise and then we got in a helicopter for a 45-minute tour of New Zealand and landed on the hill with Phil and his dad.
Ken: One of the most physically challenging parts for me was carrying the sacks but also when we had to move that boat across the peninsula in the sand. It was incredibly hot that day and those posts were really heavy, moving them back and forth, and then going back and pushing again. That was really tough. From the mental standpoint, Tina did some incredible things when were at the same leg when she had to go to the wall and decipher that mystery what they wanted her to put down. She was very fast. That put us back in the Race and win that leg.
Kynt and Vyxsin's question of the week: During the second leg in India, we loved seeing Tina sporting the bright GREEN hair! To Tina: Was this the first “crazy hair colour” you’ve tried?
Tina: When I was in college I tried some of those hair painting kits and ended up with tiger streaks through my hair and ended up having some fun with that at some sorority and fraternity parties and then went through a lot to get it back to normal. But that was probably the most dramatic hair colouring I’ve ever had and it was also a huge pain to get out. In India they put perm solution to get it out and they fried my hair and didn’t get it out. Ken would say on each leg, ‘Honey, every time your hair gets wet, the green is coming back.’ It wasn’t until we got back stateside that I was able to finally get most of it out but all the producers were saying ‘Oh, you look great with green hair, just leave it like that,’ so it was an interesting situation and I deserved it. I got way too close to the action and got doused.
TVG: That challenge just looked really rough.
Tina: I don’t think people realize when someone throws that dust in your mouth and in your eyes. I was so concerned about Kenny because he went through a lot more of it than I did. I was trying to get it out of his eyes and get a new shirt for him and we forgot about my hair and I think if we had been smart and ran some water through it before some of the other legs, it might not have baked in but it was like 100-something degrees. It was baking in all day long and it kind of took hold.
TVG: Ken, what did you think of Tina’s hair?
Ken: I thought it looked pretty sexy actually as did more than one other person commenting on it. They thought it looked cute on her. Maybe she and Vyxsin should get together and go to the salon one day and enjoy themselves.
TVG: Thanks so much for speaking with us.
Tina: If anyone wants to find out more information about us, we have a website: http://www.kennyandtina.com/ and they can post comments. We have thousands of viewers from all over the world contacting us via our website and our Facebook. They can keep up with what we’re doing. We’re looking at trying to put an adventure travel show together. We think we really know how to travel and see areas, get into the cultures and stay fit and active and how to do it on a reasonable amount of money. We’re talking to CBS and hopefully Discovery Channel and Travel Channel. We’re not sure how it’s going to play out but those are some of things we’re working on now.
TVG: Oh, wow! You’re keeping busy.
Tina: One other thing - I’ll just clue you in on what’s going to happen…we think. We were contacted by a travel company Elite Travel, they’re the number one wedding and destination planners and they wanted us to – and we would like to, too – renew our vows just because of all we’ve been through and it’s probably going to be televised. They’re talking to us now about where the location will be, so we’re excited about that, too.
TVG: When do you think that will be?
Tina: We’re not sure. In fact, they tried to call me today but we’ve had some interviews and haven’t been able to call them back but it will be sometime, hopefully, within the next three to six months. So we’re excited about that.
TVG: Thanks for the scoop!
Former NFL Player Finishes Race In ‘Amazing’ Fashion December 23, 2008
After logging more than 40,000 miles to countries including Brazil, Bolivia, New Zealand, Cambodia, India, Kazakhstan and Russia, former NFL player Ken Greene and his wife, Tina Hunter Greene, placed second in CBS’ 13th hit season of “The Amazing Race.”
Greene is a former safety with the St. Louis Cardinals (1978-82) and San Diego Chargers (1983-84). He and Tina, the president of a medical recruiting company, entered their names as contestants for the show in November 2007 while the couple was separated and living on opposite coasts. After surviving a grueling selection process, the Greenes began their seven-country, month-long journey in April 2008. The hit series aired this fall and concluded with the couple pulling off a feat as significant as their global race—recommitting to each other and slipping their wedding bands back on. Today, the couple lives together on the East Coast.
Below, the Greenes answered questions about their experience on “The Amazing Race.”
Q: What prompted you to apply for the Amazing Race?
KG: We have always loved the show, and we felt it was a chance to spend time together to see if our marriage was going to work or not.
TG: We have been fans of the “Race” since its inception and always wanted to try it out. But since Ken was a college coach it would have been impossible. Once he left coaching, I noticed that applications and a three-minute video were due the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, so we each filled out the 13-page application, shot the video on the fly and FedExed it to CBS.
Q: What did the rest of the application process entail?
TG: We were notified in January that we had made it to the final 45 or so teams. We were flown to LA and spent about 12 days going through extensive interviews with top executives, producers and casting directors; taking intelligence tests; meeting with psychologists; filling out more forms; and finally having our references called.
Q - Did your athletic training/team mentality come in handy during the race?
KG: I think it prepares you to push yourself through the pain of an event when others will stop at the first stages of exhaustion.
Q: How much luggage were you allowed to take on the trip?
TG: One backpack each.
KG: I felt like any time I could travel with my wife and she was limited to one piece of luggage, my prayers were answered.
Q: Did you ever get sick?
KG: I got sick of sleeping in airports but other than that, no problems.
TG: In New Zealand I had a temperature of about 103. A doctor came to our room at the pit stop and told me I had acute bronchitis and put me on heavy antibiotics.
Q: Did you sleep regularly while traveling?
KG: I believe that the lack of sleep was one of the most difficult aspects of the race. For the most part, your opportunity to sleep was on a plane or at the pit stop.
TG: I had a tougher time sleeping. One night we slept under a mosquito net in the Brazilian forest. One night we slept on the streets of Bolivia. In Cambodia it was very hot, and we had no air conditioning in our room. Many times we slept on the floor in airports as well.
Q: How did you overcome jet lag?
KG: It became commonplace after a few legs of the race, and it began to feel normal. After the race however, we slept for almost 48 hours straight.
TG: I think your adrenaline is pumping so hard during the race that you just get used to less sleep and jet lag.
Q: Did CBS provide meals, or were you on your own when it came to finding food?
TG: The only time you are provided food is at a pit stop or if they feed you on a plane. I lost eight pounds on the race, and Ken lost about 13.
Q: What happens immediately after a team is eliminated from the race?
TG: The first five teams eliminated were whisked away to "Elimination Station," which this year was a beautiful villa in Acapulco, Mexico. All teams are brought back together for the finale.
Q: Which challenge was the hardest?
KG: The toughest for me was moving an extremely heavy boat across a sand peninsula in 100-degree heat and suffocating humidity.
TG: The hardest for me was the Fast Forward that only Ken and I did in New Zealand. We had to climb to the very top of the Sky Tower in Auckland, which is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Only nine people have ever gone to the very top for maintenance. We had heavy equipment and a TV camera mounted to our backs and had to climb steel rungs of a ladder to the top and then back down to the bottom.
Q: What was your favorite stop along the Race?
TG: We both loved New Zealand, but Kazakhstan was also beautiful and so were Cambodia and Brazil.
Q: What cultural differences were the hardest to overcome while traveling?
TG: The language barriers are so difficult, especially in India and Russia with its Cyrillic alphabet. At least in Brazil they speak Portuguese, and many understood Spanish.
Q: The host of the show, Phil Keoghan, seems very nice. Would you agree, and can you give us any insight into his personality that the viewing public might not have seen?
KG: I think Phil is just one of us, who has taken advantage of a great opportunity. He is just a big kid that loves life and lives it to the fullest. It was a blessing to get to know him and the rest of the CBS “Amazing Race” team. I was blown away at how they were all so gracious..
Q: How did the race bring you and Tina closer?
KG: We had to count on each other completely for the entire race. I trusted her, and she trusted me, although there were times when it took a little discussion to come to an agreement. Most of the time we went with her intuition. Also, we were never allowed to be more than 20 feet apart for the entire race. If we didn't kill each other, we considered it an overwhelming success. And we didn't!
Q: Did any of the decisions you made during the Race conflict with your normal principles?
KG: No, I think we can look back and know that we played the game with integrity. In fact, if we made a mistake, it was helping other teams too much. It almost cost us in Moscow.
TG: We really did stay true to who we are--not saying anything disparaging about the other teams, doing our best to get along with everyone, building alliances where necessary, praying together whenever and wherever we could.
Q: What would you do differently if you could re-do anything from the race experience?
KG: On the last leg going to the final stop, had I offered the cab driver more money to drop off his passenger and let us take the cab, we would have won the race. I had at least $250 in my pouch. I offered $50, and they were gone before I had a chance to up the ante.
TG: Complete the log crossing; jump to the trapeze faster in Tillikum ; and give the first cab driver we found on the Portland street all our money to take us to the pit stop.
Q: What experience(s) from the show do you think you will use later in life?
KG: There are many parallels to life. First and foremost, never stop trying until someone forces you to. So many times it looked like it could be over, but we found a way to hang on. I think it made me realize I can do anything I set my mind to, still, at this stage of my life. And I think it humbles you to realize God is in control, so hang on and enjoy the ride.
Q: Do you have any advice for future contestants?
KG: Yes, I would go to New York and spend a few days on their public transit systems, subway, cabs etc., and get the feel for how it all works. I am a country boy, so I was more comfortable in the jungle of Brazil than I was on the trolleys in Moscow. And get in great shape, it was no joke!
TG: You must be as physically fit as possible. Our teams supposedly ran more than any other racers ever had. We were running as we exited every plane, cab and train.
Q: Is there talk of a reunion show of any kind? If so, would you participate?
KG: Tina had a great idea to have all the teams that have placed second over the 13 seasons race against each other. I think that would bring some closure to all of us that came so close.
TG: We have heard talk of a possible reunion show, and we would love to do that. We’d also love to do an All-Star Race, and hopefully we’d go from second to first!
Tina and Ken Greene celebrate at a watch party for The Amazing Race.
By WALT BELCHER The Tampa Tribune Published: September 29, 2008
TAMPA - It's one episode down and how many more to go?
Tina Hunter Greene can't say how far she and her estranged husband, Ken, make it on "The Amazing Race."
But Sunday night the couple were holding hands and giving high-fives at a watching party where about 150 friends and co-workers gathered to cheer them on to victory.
Tina, who runs BioPharmMed, a Tampa-based executive recruiting firm, and Ken, a former NFL defensive back who is now a San Diego-based building contractor, are among the 11 couples selected for the 13th season of the reality series.
Sunday, viewers saw them make it through to the first leg of the 30,000-mile trek that will unfold over the next 13 weeks.
There were cheers, squeals of excitement and laughter at the watching party whenever Tina Greene was on camera. On the first episode, Tina was intense and impatient while Ken was laid back.
"It was the adventure of a lifetime and the hardest thing I have ever done," says Tina, the first contestant from Tampa to be on the Emmy-winning reality show.
"It was just amazing," adds Ken Greene. The Greenes can't say how far they went or whether the journey saved their troubled marriage. They can't speak to the media again until their "Race" journey ends.
In the opening episode, Tina, 49, and Ken, 52, arrived at the first destination near the head of the pack. An elderly hippie couple, Arthur and Anita Jones from Eugene, Ore., came in last and were the first to be eliminated.
The Greenes entered the race for more than the $1 million prize. The couple were seeking to repair their marriage. They separated last year after more than six years of marriage. It was revealed on the program Sunday that Ken had cheated on her. Viewers saw him admit that he made a mistake and wanted to make it up to her.
Ken is a former All-American college standout who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers before leaving the NFL in 1984. He coached at Fresno State, Purdue and Washington State.
"We are both in good shape and we like extreme outdoor adventure vacations," Tina says.
On the first episode, their skills were put to the test as the teams dashed off from Los Angeles and ended up in Brazil, where they had to climb 240 feet down a cargo net that stretched from the side of a building to the street.
The race was taped earlier this year and covers 23 days with stops in Bolivia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, India and Russia before returning to America to wrap up in Portland, Ore.
Ken and Tina: The Only Couple Who Actually Repaired Their Relationship In Amazing Race History By Sara A. Bibel
Every season there’s at least one romantically involved team that comes on the race to decide whether their relationship has a future. Usually the stress of the competition means the answer is a resounding, “No.” But reformed cheater and ex-NFL player Ken and his often demanding wife Tina proved the happy exception. In the final, they lost the million by a hair. But they won something more important. Their successful partnership on the race inspired Ken to ask Tina to start wearing her wedding ring again. They told fancast how being in a pressure cooker saved their marriage.
How far behind Nick and Starr were you?
Ken: We’ve heard different reports. It was somewhere between five and fifteen minutes. So it really was close. It wasn’t a trick of the editing.
Tina: That made it hard. The emotional part of it, too. But it had a happy ending.
It seemed like the memory challenge was the deciding factor in this leg. What happened there that enabled Nick and Starr to pull ahead?
Tina: I think where Nick and Starr pulled ahead was running back and forth. They were so quick. For some reason I felt I had to walk to get my head around it. We made a few mistakes, but they did too. We were keeping a log and a diary just like they were. The stress of it, and on top of that trying to find different clues, because the last clue for us was way at the back of the hundred and fifty boxes. It took us a long time to get to it. Some of that’s luck, which box you open. Some of it’s memory. And they definitely did a really good job on that task.
Ken: They were very good at everything they did in the last couple legs. But really the race came down to the last task. We were basically neck and neck. They found the dragon right away. [Note: It was a dinosaur. That may have been part of the problem.] We walked away from it. That’s where we really lost a bunch of time. If we were able to do anything again differently, it would have been finding the dragon because we didn’t see it as we got out of the cab and they did. It might have been the young eyes versus the old eyes. Who knows?
Ken, when you took out the rings at the matt and asked Tina to wear them, it was such a beautiful, emotional moment. How long had you been planning that?
Ken: The plans kept changing during the race. One minute I thought I was pulling them out, and the other I was stashing them away. It’s something I had considered and prepared for at the start of the race, think the race would reveal whether we’d be together or whether we should stay apart. As the race continued it became obvious that, even though we had our moments, she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share something like that together. Then, at the end, to share it with all the people we came to love over the course of the race.
You, along with Nick and Starr, absolutely dominated this race. What were your secrets to success?
Tina: I think we complement each other well. Ken’s strengths are my weaknesses. My strengths are his weaknesses. His strengths are my weaknesses. One of the strategies we incorporated was getting along with all the teams, trying to gather information at every opportunity. We’re both physically fit even though we’re double their age. We’re both well traveled. We don’t take no for an answer. We just pushed through even when we had out tough moments. We thought we could win the relationship back and the race. We got the more important one I think even though we felt bad not to win the million.
Tina, at several points during the race you helped out other teams. That seemed to be a source of conflict for the two of you. What was your philosophy on helping people?
Tina: It’s kind of who I am. I like to help people. But I wanted them to remember that because we may need their help later. Ken did it too. You just didn’t see it. He told Nick and Starr where the bus station was in Cambodia. We all shared information. Some of it was on TV and some of it wasn’t. It’s difficult when you look as these kids, some of whom are younger than our kids (our youngest is 24) and you see them struggling. If they ask for help, you want to help them. It’s how both of us are. He did get mad at me about Dallas. He was right, too. If they had not lost their passport and money, we probably would have been out.
What happened during that leg? Why did it take you so long to find the clue box in Moscow?
Ken: We were going to take the train and we were told we couldn’t. It was too late. That started out downward spiral. We got on the wrong bus. That was my fault. It turned out to be a trolley with metal wheels not a trolley bus. So we had to go back and repeat that. The very last thing was we got dropped off half a mile from the clue box when everyone else got dropped off right in front. We spent three hours trying to find that clue box. We were running non-stop. That didn’t help us going into the final leg because we’d spent ourselves pretty much physically.
Who did you consider to be your biggest rivals on the race?
Ken: When we came into the race, and we were sizing people up, we thought our biggest threats were going to be Nick and Starr, Mark and Bill, Terrance and Sarah. We thought those groups were going to be real strong and they proved to be.
What were your best and worst moments of the whole race?
Tina: My best moment was when he pulled out the rings at the end. It was a very moving moment for me. The other teams didn’t know we were separated and living on opposite coasts. We felt like they might use that to put a wedge between us. I’ve got to tell you that some of them were shocked. Even the camera men and the sound guy were in tears at the end. Just to see that the teams really thought we loved each other, really thought we got along. And I think they knew us better than the fans did. They all said, “You should have the Ken and Tina show. You guys are hilarious.” My worst moment was climbing the sky tower because it was a beautiful moment but when I got to the top I was scared to death.
Ken: Probably the worst moment for me was [the leg we came in last] when we were so frustrated. We’d done the tasks very well, continued to have poor luck with our taxis. We thought we were going to be eliminated. That was incredibly frustrating. My best moment was her worst moment, when we were at the top of the sky tower. The sun came up over the ocean and it was a very unique and blessed moment.
What inspired the two of you to try out for the race?
Tina: I’ve been a huge fan since the very first promo for Amazing Race One. I watched every season. Ken watched most of them with me. We always said we wanted to do it but because he was in coaching it would have been impossible. He got out of coaching. We were separated. We were seeing each other every month. He came for Thanksgiving and I had seen on the internet that they were taking applications that were due next week. So I just said to him, “Do you want to do this? I think it would be a good strategy for us to spend more time together, to see if we can work well as a team. “ Monday morning before his plane flew out we filled out the application, did the video, just on the fly. We didn’t rehearse it. We didn’t have a script. It ended up being exactly three minutes. On the way to the airport we FedExed it then forgot about it for a while. Ken thought we were definitely going to be picked. I was shocked when they called me. It was definitely a blessing in our life and something we always wanted to do. Now I’m hoping they’ll take all the number two teams from all the seasons and have a race with us.
How have things been for the two of you since the end of the race? Did the connection you forged translate into boring real life?
Ken: Absolutely. We couldn’t go through tougher times then we did on the race. I moved back home in September. We’re continuing to grow together on our relationship. We wanted to take our relationship from a manageable one to a magnificent one.
What advice would you give to other competitors on The Amazing Race?
Tina: That no matter how well prepared you are, it’s overwhelming.
Ken: The most basic issue, which a lot of people don’t do, which shocks me is that you have to be in great shape to do this show. There’s no way that you can be successful unless you’re ready to run.