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The “Challenge: USA” winners in that “difficult” final and everyone resigns

And then there were two.

Challenge: USA The final started with ten players, but then Ben Driebergen was medically disqualified, and in the end, there were only two players on top of the mountain. And it was because everyone else quit: Enzo Palumbo in the first leg, swimming (with partner Desi Williams); Angela Romans, having thought she could take last place at the checkpoint all night long; Tyson Apostol, Justin Ndiba, Dom Abate and Kayla Platt during the first leg of Sudoku. Danny McRae reached the finish line first, followed by Sarah Lasina, who was so late she thought she would come last. Fortunately, she refused to resign.

Here, McCray (who won $245,500) and Lasina (who won $254,500) take us inside that final and look forward to the World Championships.

You were the only ones to finish the final. Talk about that last stop, because Danny, you were way ahead of everyone and then Sarah, you thought you’d come last.

McCray: The last stop was great because it was solo. That trip was tough. The terrain was difficult. Going from warmer to snowfall and almost blizzards, frigid water and icy water, it was an experience, but it was a lot of fun. Definitely glad they had Sudoku at the end because it allowed me to get past Tyson and win.

Lasina: I love to compete whether you win or lose. Obviously I want to win. I beat myself up when I don’t do a good job. delve into it [leg]Danny and I got 17 points. For me, it was just as long as you don’t finish last, you win. I don’t have to be first, just don’t be last. Once everyone left, it was really frustrating for me. And then I found out that I won and I didn’t even find the discovery of that top of the mountain… But I will say the money is great, but the lesson I will take is even better. Because it’s like, What are my reasons to keep going? I suppose I won’t win. Everyone is going to have to quit until I win, but just to be there on my own for an hour and two and have to fight through that knowing I can get through that and keep going and nothing will stop me no matter if I get to the top and get five or $250,000…it’s just Something I will never forget and I am forever grateful to have.

John Rories, Courtesy of Paramount

Was that last leg the wildest part of the finale for both of you?

McCray: No, this was probably the third most difficult. I guess last night was hard for me just because it’s hard on your back. all night long. It started cramping because you had been working all day and not eating, and the onions and garlic, as easy as it sounded to some viewers, were brutal. It was very awful.

Lasina: I would say for me mentally the last leg was the hardest. Physically, sure, it was an overnight leg, but yes, that last leg was mentally 90 percent. And what are you willing to push, pass, and move on?

Do you think it was this mental aspect that led to a lot of people quitting at that last stage?

Lasina: 100 percent. People turn to Sudoku – the reason I still think I finally quit is because everyone quit before I got there. So I suppose everyone is done because if I survive the storm for two hours on my own, surely everyone else can do it. But they are already gone. They weren’t there, they’ve already quit. So I don’t know if they were there for half an hour and quit or whatever, but I guess if you’re willing to put up with that – I’ve watched the challenge Before. As long as you don’t quit, at some point – they won’t let that go for a couple of days – you’ll be done. This is no secret. But are you ready to re-solve the entire puzzle again? Are you willing to stay there for another hour? That’s what it boils down to.

Dominic Abate, Sarah Lasina, Danny McRae, Justin Ndepa, Angela Romance, Tyson Apostol, and Kayla Platt in Challenge: USA

John Rories, Courtesy of Paramount

McCray: It was very surprising. I think what happens mentally is that you assume there will be one winner. Then you see the winner take off and realize you have probably another 45 minutes to redo that puzzle. Then you say, well, was it worth it for how much money I have in my bank account? When those doubts start creeping into your mind, you start making more excuses, yeah, I might as well get out of here. And once that first person gets in, it’s hard for you to keep going. So like Sarah said, that’s why you should always have a deeper reason to keep going. It’s not about the $5-6000 that is in my account. It’s about my wife at home, my daughter at home, and my mom, who do I want to inspire? And as long as you have one of those things, I think you’re able to move forward, of course, unless there’s some kind of health or safety issue.

Lasina: I have a cousin who has cerebral palsy, [who] He can’t walk, he’s trying to learn to walk again because he had another surgery on his legs. He will give anything to climb this mountain. So for me to sit here and say, isn’t it worth it? He would have done it for free. It will pay to do so. How can I give in to it?

Speaking of money, the past Challenges Sometimes it is left to the players to split the bet total. And Danny, since you arrived first and are likely to fall upon you, I’m curious, would you have split the bowl with Sarah?

McCray: I’d get a dollar more than Sarah. [Both laugh] Sarah and I had this conversation. I’d get a dollar more than Sarah and we’d move on to a challenge tournament and try to earn more money. I think this is another part of the game that you should also take into account. We are moving. We are partners. We represent the USA on the CBS version of the challenge in the world championship. So it won’t work for me if I try to do it that way.

Sarah Lasina in Challenge: USA

John Rories, Courtesy of Paramount

Sarah, would you have done the same, maybe got a dollar more or what?

Lasina: I was going to split it with Danny. We were splitting that dollar. As he said, there is a bigger picture. We know we play to keep going and that there is more to life than money too. And so, personally and because I’m Danny, no, I wouldn’t have taken the money from him.

Speaking of that tournament, what do you expect from it and how do you prepare?

McCray: I expect a lot of swimming, and a lot of climbing. I think this would probably be a little more extreme. So really I’m only working on the things I struggled with this a challenge, which is swimming, some of my grip strength because climbing those floats and this ladder really puts a little bit of pressure on your shape. Working on these things, making sure I’m ready and willing to keep up if the opportunity arises again.

Lasina: Yes same. Swimming for me, balance and I need to practice more puzzle solving just to stay sharp. We do our regular exercises and make sure our stamina is in place. I think Danny and I are going to be a force.

Sarah, you wanted to throw yourself into Men’s Elimination Day, which turned into a hall brawl of it all. How seriously do you throw yourself and how glad you are that you didn’t think about how the season would end?

McCray: Before you do that, I’m happy, Sarah, I’m happy.

Lasina: I know. yes. At that point, I got a call from home. My husband tells me that my son is sick, he is vomiting. He’s up all night, having to clean up vomiting. Then there was a mass shooting in a bar in Cedar Rapids and I was one of our homicide detectives. My boss called him and said, “Hey, when is Sarah home? We can really use her.” For me, there was a lot of stuff going on at home and at home at that point. I wasn’t enjoying my time at all. I felt like a burden to my family and co-workers. So I was at the point where I feel like quitting – one, I won’t quit, two, you don’t get your paycheck that you get. So I love, just throw me. If you win, it’s a great story. If I lose, I’ll go home. I’m not interested. They just threw me. Well, right now, I would 100 percent want to get in, but that has nothing to do with Enzo. I definitely don’t want to go against Enzo. Enzo had run through me. But this is how it all works.

McCray: I would say that I think people think so survivor It may be more difficult in this case, but it is not. Because survivorWhen you go, you don’t see your family, you don’t talk to them so you don’t get that news. You don’t have to see their faces if they’re sad, if they’re happy. Here, you see them twice a week. Then if you get bad news, you won’t talk to them again for another three days. So you have to sit there and leave this soup. So I definitely understand where you’re coming from, Sarah.

Lasina: yes. And your kids say, “Mom, when are you coming home?” And it breaks your heart. And you are not with anyone who knows you. And I don’t win things. I just love, is it worth it? There’s more drama going on at home and I’m going, “My home life is really suffering from this. Is this worth it to me?” Those were my thoughts at the time. I’m glad it worked the way it did. I’m glad I didn’t go because Enzo would have been embarrassed.


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