SLOW down in those hectic moments, take notice of what's around you, and when luck comes around, ask for seconds.
That's the advice from the winners of The Amazing Race Canada, which concluded its inaugural season Monday night. Your heroes of hustle, Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. Hague, just happen to be from Winnipeg and because of their standing as the last team standing, they are undisputed (by default) experts in how to successfully navigate a month-long race around the country.
Now that there will be a second season of the popular show next summer, and no doubt a large batch of new racing applicants looking to race, consider this vital information:
Slow down and read the clues carefully. That's important. And pay attention to your surroundings -- another big one. Anything else?
"Plan ahead and do some homework," Tim Sr. said during a conference call Tuesday afternoon. "It's always good to do a little studying. Go back and watch the American version (of the show). That's what saved us: My wife knew that the flags and the flowers are often used in the American one and she advised us to be looking for that coming in."
Those "flags and flowers" turned out to be the difference for the Hagues in the final episode. After lagging behind in the Toronto Zoo, lost for more than an hour and sensing the two other family-themed teams were well ahead of them, they eventually made it to the final test -- matching the provincial/territorial flags and flowers to the province/territory.
Those paying attention noticed hints of these flags and flowers present throughout the show. Luckily, Tim Sr. wrote them down in his journal, studied them when the opportunity allowed and matched them up while the two other pairings struggled to connect the symbols.
"I was thrilled, because I knew I had it," he said.
It wasn't always that easy. Luckily, the two legs they finished last in were both non-elimination stages. The first of those mulligans, during the third leg of the race in Alberta, was when they ended up going to the wrong lookout canyon near Drumheller.
"That was one of our lowest moments," 23-year-old Tim Jr. recalled. "When we got to the right overlook canyon and (host Jon Montgomery) told us we were still in it, we were extremely demoralized. At that moment, I just wanted to go home."
Luckily, they didn't For their win, the Hagues picked up $250,000 in cash, free Air Canada travel for a year and a pair of Corvette Stingrays.
Tim Sr. is racing down a different path now. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in February 2011, the registered nurse became a bit of a celebrity for the way he fought through the fatigue brought on by his condition. Before the show started taping, the 48-year-old hoped his presence would serve as a motivator for people in a similar situation.
Numerous people (plus a few organizations) have already approached him about continuing his inspirational story.
"That's a very positive thing for me, he said, "because as much as I enjoy the money, the cars, the trips -- that's fantastic. But if we can take this to a more personal level where we actually help people, that would be the most meaningful thing for me."