[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome back for TWiM coverage of Relative Race Season 5. First off, I need to issue an apology for missing last week’s recap. Due to some unforeseen circumstances I wasn’t able to get to it. Geoff said he was going to cover for me, but he failed miserably (something about preparing General Conference rumors and temple predictions – pfft). But I’m back and ready to go. The biggest takeaway from Day 4, and it was a big one, was Team Red’s Maria being reunited with her birth father, and oh what a reunion it was. Not only did Maria get to meet her birth father, but she got to celebrate his birthday with him and her birth mother, who flew in for the occasion.
Oh the Places You Will Go
Leaving Arlington, Virginia, Team Red cruises up the east coast toward Scotch Plains, NJ with an allotted time of 4 hours and 5 minutes. After saying an emotional farewell to Maria’s mother and father, the girls let their inner New Yorker out as they deal with the traffic of New Jersey.
Coming off of their 1st place victory and still flying high, Team Blue is heading from Charleston, South Carolina to Columbus, Ohio with an allotted time of 2 hours and 59 mins. In an attempt to maintain that lead, Team Blue makes a risky short cut, hoping it will pay off in the long run and earn them another 1st place spot.
With elimination on the line, Team Black buzzes out of Savannah Georgia, heading to Charlotte, North Carolina with an allotted time of 3 hours and 58 minutes. The buzz quickly fizzes out, when the twins back up into a tree. What would their cousin, Sandra, the driver’s ed instructor say say? From the looks of the car, the damage appears to be minimal, if nothing at all, and the twins are back on the road (but it’s surprising there was no penalty for this sort of thing considering the teams get docked if they speed).
Coming out of Sante Fe, new Mexico, brothers Marcus and Keith of Team Green make their way to the coconino pine forests of Flagstaff, Arizona, with the longest leg of the day at 5 hours and 31 minutes. Waiting in the car for them is a suspicious tube that says, “Open with your relative.” Uh, OK.
Challenge: Plane Poppers
Teams were led to what are clearly Latter-day Saint meetinghouses to engage in a seemingly simple game: pop the correct colored balloons using paper airplanes an accessories. If a participant hits the wrong color, a series of fans — the types often used to dry out carpet — will activate, thus stymieing the efforts of said paper airplanes. Once racers popped the balloons in question, they were free to move on. No team particularly struggled with this task.
Using a meetinghouse gym is a funny, if obvious move. I’m not sure how many non-LDS viewers BYUtv has, but we can only hope the viewers and teams, none of which seem to be LDS this season, felt the wonderful spirit of scratchy walls and church ball anger. May those baptismal numbers not remain static in 2019!
Coming it at first place is Team Red. Finally moving away from so much focus on Maria, Elizabeth was able to meet her aunt Shanae (“Nae Nae”), her father’s sister. Like many stories on relative race, Nae Nae didn’t know about Elizabeth and vise-versa. After some much appreciated lessons in soul food cooking, Elizabeth was able to sit down and see pictures of her family, and more importantly her father, whom she learned was an All-Star Football player.
In second place is Team Green, who have the privilege of meeting Marcus’ cousin Aldona on his dad’s side. This connection is really cool, because it’s through Aldona’s submission to Ancestry that Marcus was able to meet his Dad, because he was first matched to Aldona. But don’t forget about that mysterious package. Together they were able to open it, and they found a family tree, which showed something Aldona has been searching for her entire life. Her own birth family. With her cousins at her side, Aldona was finally able to read the name of her birth father and discover that he is still alive. Oh yeah, and she has siblings she never knew about. And neither Marcus nor Aldona knew they were mixed race. How cool is that? Relative Race, you rock!
Staving off a plane ride home, Team Black rides in at third place in Charlotte to meet their 2nd cousin Helen on their mother’s side. But before these sisters can rest, their cousin takes them to Carowinds Amusement Park, to get their inner-child on. (Fun fact: Carowinds actually straddles the North Carolina/South Carolina border.) Helen shares with the sisters that their family loves riding roller coasters, and what better way to share that, then to ride the “Best Steel Roller Coaster In the World” – Fury 325. It’s worth noting that Helen states repeatedly that Fury is the “fastest steel roller coaster in the world,” which is untrue. Fury is the fastest giga coaster in the world — a coaster over 300 feet tall — at over 95 miles per hour, but the fastest steel coaster is Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which hits an eye-watering 150 mph and requires riders to wear goggles.
Picking up their first strike of the game, Team Blue arrives in Columbus, Ohio only 13 mins over their allotted time and only 11 minutes behind Team Red. In Columbus, Demetrius meets his 1st cousin Walter on his father’s side. Walter, like many of Demtrius’ family had no idea he existed, but is excited to develop a relationship going forward. Demetrius was even able to view a picture of his great-great–great grandfather.