Yes, The Amazing Race is still on air and this Austin couple won its 31st season and $1 million.
By Jordan Burnham, Photos courtesy of Christie Woods
Fifteen years ago, in Trammell Crow Park, Dallas, Christie Woods felt devastated. But her devastation was intermingled with relief; it was finally finished. She had just raced 72,000 miles across 12 countries and six continents in less than five weeks. After crossing the finish line of The Amazing Race, she learned that only 10 minutes separated her team from first place—and $1 million.
More than a decade later, Woods and her partner, Colin Guinn, walked back onto the world stage to compete in season 31 of The Amazing Race, a reality television series that challenges competitors in an around-the-world experience for a chance to win $1 million. Competitors race through airports, traverse cities and span nations while taking part in physical and mental challenges. Now, 31 seasons later, Woods sprinted across the finish line and braced herself for the worst, only to encounter the thrill of crossing the finish line in first place.
“Here we are, this story of 15 years ago when we were doing the exact same thing except we came in second when we were running to the mat,” Woods says. “And then this time it just felt like ‘Did we really just come back 15 years later?’ ”
Though she remains humbled in the face of success, Woods attributes the teams’ accomplishments to their earnest practice of resilience, which she says the team lacked in season five. During the 12 grueling legs of the race, Woods and Guinn maintained control of the only thing they could: their feelings.
“If we can maintain a positive attitude,” Woods says. “If we can maintain our alignment that is going to up our chances of being able to make it through, somehow catch up and possibly win this whole thing.”
Another salient difference between the two races was the duo’s approach to Roadblocks, challenges that require completion by a solo team member. While Guinn took most Roadblocks during season five, each team was required to split them evenly in season 31.
“We had already decided, ‘Hey we’re doing that’ because we really want to show the strength of our team when both the feminine and the masculine work together synergistically,” Woods says.
ON HER PREPARATION AND TRAINING
After texting a casting director in March of 2018, Woods received an email a month later inviting her and Guinn to compete in the reality clash season, which brought stars from Big Brother and Survivor to compete alongside new and former Amazing Race competitors. With five weeks to prepare, Woods says she and Guinn maintained their active lifestyles while adding extra physical challenges like walking two miles uphill every day.
“So, we would fill our backpacks about as heavy as we thought they were going to be, put them on and we go walk that every single day,” Woods says.
While the duo prepared themselves physically for the race, a mental transformation began to burgeon years before their second encounter with reality television. In Austin, Woods is an integrated sex, love and relationship coach, and over the past seven years she and Guinn have been practicing quantum visualization techniques, which involves imagining future scenarios in order to bring them into fruition.
“That’s when the transformation started happening, was learning these practices and implementing them in our lives and living those practices on a daily basis,” Woods says.
ON THE RACE ITSELF
On the seventh leg of season 31, which took place in Switzerland, Woods jumped off a cliff into a giant glacier gorge.
“Everything in your body is telling you ‘Don’t do this,’ like this is death, instant death,” Woods says.
In addition to competing in physically taxing challenges, the team took it upon themselves to catalyze positivity. Reality television often highlights the shadowy aspects of humanity, Woods says, so she wanted to alternatively promote a higher level of consciousness.
“So, we wondered, ‘Hey, can we go into that container and really highlight collaboration over competition and really connect with the other teams in a real human to human way and would that enhance our chances of doing well in this show?’ ” Woods says.
ON THE FUTURE
Woods says she knows her and Guinn’s personal transformation will be evident to viewers who watch both seasons of the race, which led the couple to share their personal growth with a free video series on colinandchristie.com.
“We knew when people watch [season]31 they’re going to wonder ‘What is going on, what have they done to transform themselves, to transform the relationship?’ ” Woods says. “So, it’s a free series.”
Moving forward, Woods plans to continue to strengthen her relationship with others, as she believes these bonds are fundamental to life.
“Really teaching people tools and resources to enhance their relationship in their lives, that’s what life is all about,” Woods says. “And that is really where my passion lives.”