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Team Third Time's a Charm

‘Third Time’s The Charm’ wins MOST Amazing Race

Added on Monday, October 9, 2017

Written by Julie Borgen, Twin Cities Media Relations Director for The Salvation Army Northern Division

(Video) – They did it again. For the second year in a row, Kelly Boler and Justin Bakken of team “Third Time’s the Charm” won The MOST Amazing Race, besting their closest competitor by an impressive 50 minutes. (View race photos and team photos, or see complete race results.)

Team Third Time's a Charm at the finish line“It was so fun, super fun,” said Boler, who has raced with Bakken for the past four years.

“We did a lot of running,” Bakken added. “We did take buses a couple of times, though, too.”

It’s that combination of strategy, fitness and teamwork that has made this team so successful. It’s also what keeps them looking forward to the race every year.

Team Third Time's a Charm wins $5,000 grand prize“It’s such a great course,” Boler said. “You never know what to expect. But it’s always so much fun.”

Team “Third Time’s The Charm” took home the $5,000 grand prize, courtesy of Deluxe Corporation. Boler says she’ll use her half to buy new furniture, while Bakken plans to buy new bikes for his kids.

Gold and Silver Divisions

The race was divided into two divisions: Gold and Silver. Twenty-four teams in the Gold Division raised a minimum of $500 each for a chance to compete for that $5,000 grand prize. Another 30 teams in the Silver Division raised a minimum of $250 each, vying for other great prizes, including two queen size, Tempur-Pedic mattress sets, courtesy of Mattress Firm.

Team Adventure Guy and Gal crosses the finish lineSome teams went well above and beyond the minimum. Team “Adventure Guy and Gal” (pictured) raised an impressive $5,446. They won a $1,000 gift card to Cub for their efforts. David Hilden of Adventure Guy and Gal is the only person who has competed in the race all 12 years, running this year with Delaney Berrini. Throughout his years of racing, Hilden has helped raised more than $50,000 for the Salvation Army.

The next-highest fundraisers were team “Twinnies,” who raised $2,770. In all, teams raised more than $55,000 this year. Since 2006, the race has raised more than $750,000 for Salvation Army food and housing programs in the Twin Cities.

“It is amazing to see the racers treat the fundraising like a labor of love,” said Julie Orlando, Salvation Army event manager and creator of The MOST Amazing Race. “It’s a fun and exciting day, but the racers all know the real purpose is to help support The Salvation Army and the people we serve.”

Silver Division Winners

First-time racers Casi Short and Joe McDonald of team “Hungry Hungry Hippos” won the Silver Division, each taking home a Tempur-Pedic mattress set worth $3,300 from Mattress Firm.

“It was awesome, that was so fun,” Short said. “It was a lot of running, but it was worth it.”

Her partner, Joe McDonald, can’t wait to do it again. “We will totally be back,” he said. “We’re sore and tired now, but it was so great.”

More Race Results

  • Team “House Reckstad” (pictured) took second place in the Gold Division, winning mattress sets from Mattress Firm, worth $2,500 each.
  • Team “Two Guys” took third in the Gold Division, winning an in-studio visit to The Power Trip morning show on KFAN.
  • “Team Orange” took second place in the Silver division, winning tickets to a Minnesota Vikings game.
  • Team “The Hazelnuts” came in third in Silver, taking home gift cards for Mississippi Market.

Other Prizes for Top Finishers

Race medalsThe top 10 finishers in both divisions took home other great prizes, including:

  • Movie prize packs
  • 5 lbs of Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls
  • Deluxe backpacks
  • WWE Tickets
  • K102 Fan Jam Tickets
  • Tickets to the Twin Cities Model Rail Road Museum
  • Gift cards to Raising Canes

Race Details & Challenges

The 2017 MOST Amazing Race sent the teams all around St. Paul, using only their feet or Metro Transit, to complete 13 mental and physical challenges (watch video). Before the race began, the teams warmed up at the Como Park Pavilion, and then heard the rules from Falen of KDWB and AJ Mansour of KFAN.

Race challenges included:

  • Pasture Break with Chick-fil-A:Team members split up on either side of a field, both donning cow hats. One racer put on an eye mask and a cowbell, and had to find their partner across the field by tracing the sound of the other racer, who was mooing loudly. Once together, they solved a puzzle to unlock a lock and get their next clue.
  • Fire hose challengeSaint Paul Fire Department Training Facility: Teams had to complete two challenges here. They used a fire hose to spray water into a barrel until a ball floated up, then spray the ball out of the barrel. For their second challenge they had to run up five flights of stairs, then lower a fire house out a five-story window to the ground and then pull it back up.
  • Twin City Model Railroad Museum: Here teams scoured train displays looking for answers to a quiz.
  • Pearson’s Candy: Teams had to correctly identify pieces of classic Pearson’s Candy and match them with facts spelled out on a puzzle board. Once they got them all correct, they ate all 10 pieces of candy.
  • Ronald McDonaldMcDonald’s: Next it was on to the Golden Arches for lunch. Each team ordered a single Happy Meal, then took it into the Playland to eat it. But here’s the catch — no feeding themselves, they had to feed each other. They took their toy with them to the next challenge.
  • The Salvation Army Citadel Worship and Service Center: The next stop was The Salvation Army on W. 7th St. in St. Paul. Here racers donated their Happy Meal toy to the child care center, and then split up to tackle two challenges, before coming back together for a third task. First, one person cleaned and sanitized two toys in the preschool. The other team member completed a word search. Then, both team members headed into the garage, where they got to break five glasses or cups by tossing them through a hole, thanks to The Break Room.
  • James J. Hill House: This was an extra challenge, just for the Gold Division. Team members raced to the historic James J. Hill House and ran up the long flight of stairs to the top. In the backyard, racers put on either a corset or a bustle and then had to walk across the lawn with a book on their head, without dropping it.
  • Amanda Brinkman, Small Business RevolutionSmall Business Revolution: En route to this challenge, racers watched a video about Deluxe Corporation’s Small Business Revolution, then took a quiz and had to get 80 percent of the questions right to reveal their next challenge. This challenge sent them on a Grand Ave. hunt for puzzle pieces at six small businesses. Once all were in hand, they headed to Irish on Grand to assemble the puzzle.
  • ArtScraps: Racers divided up duties here — one played the teacher, the other the art student. The teacher opened a box with an art project inside and told the student how to recreate it — without showing them the printed instructions.
  • Can Can Wonderland: Next up, racers went to the funky, indoor amusement park, Can Can Wonderland. One took the stage as an actor and the other team member took over as the director. The actor memorized lines from a classic movie — the director could help, but had to do it without speaking.
  • Saint Paul Ballet and Element Boxing Gym: Then it was time for the racers to get physical in a different way. The Saint Paul Ballet and Element Boxing came together to perform The Art of Boxing, The Sport of Ballet. One team member put on boxing gloves, the other a tutu. Together they performed a combination of dance and boxing moves.
  • Mattress toss challengeEscape Room: Next, it was on to The Salvation Army’s Booth Brown House, a youth shelter and supportive housing complex. Here the racers ran up to the attic with a storied history and played an escape room game, courtesy of Missing Pieces in Edina. They had to use a flat photo of a multi-dimensional object to build it in real life and reveal a code.
  • Mattress Toss and Obstacle Course: Racers ran back to the starting line at Como Park for the final two challenges. Up first, they had to flip a king-size, Mattress Firm mattress, end over end, back and forth across the field. Finally, teams headed into an inflatable obstacle course before dashing to the finish line.

Celebrating 12 years

Julie OrlandoThe MOST Amazing Race was created in 2006 by Salvation Army event manager Julie Orlando (pictured). Inspired by the television show, she knew the race would be a great way to motivate new people to get involved with The Salvation Army, both as racers and volunteers. Today, the race has been copied by Salvation Army locations in 10 other cities around the country.

“It’s been such an honor and a blessing to see this event grow and spread to other Salvation Army locations,” Orlando said. “From our racers to our volunteers, it’s about fun, healthy competition and supporting our community. It’s just a joy to know that you can have a great time, all for an amazing cause.”


Please join The Salvation Army by volunteering, or making a donation to support your local community.