Steve (otherwise known to TAR fans as Geezer) takes a turn at answering our questions.
What attracted you to the show?
The travel and the chance at the million of course. But most of all because I am one of the biggest fans of the show.
What were your goals for the race?
To intimidate the other players early on and make them fearful of us. Getting partners who had skills for traveling were very important. By making others worry about us we would keep them off guard and make them look over shoulder or feel they had to keep their eye on us.
How did you prepare for it?
I backpacked everyday. There is no other training you will need except maybe swimming lessons if you don't really know how to swim, which I am not really very good at, that was my big worry.
Did you watch previous seasons of the show and did you learn anything from watching previous racers?
I studied all the races from first to the most current and tore them apart looking for things that helped the other racers succeed. For instance I knew that Flo and Zach studied books on monuments and extraordinary structures. I also read books on ways to lighten my load, pack my bag and map reading over terrain.
If yes, what did you bring to the race that you learned from previous races?
That tennis shoes are not always the best bet. That it pays to be nice to people and that above all Karma will kick you in the ass.
Did you have any favorite teams, locations, tasks or moments from the race?
I always liked Steve and Dave and still say they were the most fun. After we did the Gorge Du Blavet I had Josh stop and turn around and look where we were because I knew we wouldn't ever be there again. You see us on the stone structure and that is what we are doing. My favorite moment of all I will say was in Venice. Josh had gotten into an argument with Tian and was being all pissy and angry. As we are walking the stairs up the Rialto bridge The Crew who is not filming at the time began to sing to Josh, "Put on a happy face." Pretty soon the other two teams and their crews began to sing. I stopped and looked at them as they climbed up and thought, THIS I will remember and so will he.
Did you have a strategy going in? If so, what was it and how did it evolve as the race went on?
You saw our strategy, get an alliance, make it a good one and make sure you can trust them.
What was your reaction to your competition when you first saw them?
Actually Josh and I were only interviewed for TAR 3 and were called back to be on TAR 4 so we never interviewed with any of the other teams on 4 except Kelly and Jon. I think this gave us an advantage because it really threw the rest of them off, when we walked into the room, lot of mouths dropped open.
Did you find the first leg to be intimidating?
Nope, it was a piece of cake, but it did give me an idea of what kind of sleep deprivation we were looking at.
How did your alliances help you? How did they hurt you?
Our Alliances helped a lot especially in Venice. Some of the other Alliances made us look like ugly Americans but Al smoothed it over with his Italian.
Per Team Guido's report, you were at a premiere party in Vegas with current and former racers. How did it feel to make your racing debut in the presence of former racers?
I will say that they were very friendly and welcomed us into the new world of the TAR racers. They gave us some personal insight into what to expect. Some were not what I had expected and others lived up to their personas.
Where you worried about how the public might react to you on the show?
No, not really. I am a supervisor of a Juvenile Probation Boot Camp so I felt I had a responsibility to act a certain way in stressful situations as an example to them. They and my coworkers and family were my only concern.
Having seen yourselves on TV, do you feel you were accurately portrayed?
Yep, that is me. I try to maintain a friendly demeanor with everyone. It is not necessary to be confrontational when a little B.S. goes a long way. I was proud of how I handled every situation.
No other season of TAR has aired so many disagreements about places in line and cutting. What was your impression of those incidents?
Well we get slammed a great deal for buying tickets for Steve and Dave but when I spoke with the other racers later they all told me it was a great move and they wish they had done it. You notice you see other racers trying the move later on, which I think is great. But as far as people walking to the front of the line and staying there it is wrong. This is a rule that will need to be changed or addressed.
How much did fatigue and jet lag play in the race?
Well I never noticed the Jet lag as our sleeping patterns never got on track. Fatigue did make some people slower or not think clearly. My philosophy was move a little slower because your not thinking at your fastest.
What were the pit stops like? Was there really enough time to eat/sleep/mingle as is shown?
Yeah all of the pit stops were pretty. They feed you right away on local cuisine and interview the living daylights out of you then you have to find a way to turn it off and go to sleep.
What's your favorite pit stop memory?
In Gmunden we were having dinner with everyone there. At some point Jon of the clowns left the room, when he returned he had a newspaper in his hand saying we were in it. Steve of the ATC's being the Media Whore that he is, (lol), said let me see. Jon pops open the paper next to Steve's face and when he does whipped cream goes all over Steve and the wall. It was a regular clown moment. Oh well, guess you had to be there.
Has being on the race changed your life?
Not really, but I never thought it would.
What was the toughest part of the race for you?
Not being able to take charge like I like to do.
How far behind Steve and Dave were you at that last pitstop?
In your pre-race questionnaire, you were asked to list each other's strengths and weaknesses. Having gone through the race, would you change anything about those answers?
If you follow the commentary made about your team on various websites, how do you feel about it?
I don't really have any particular feelings any which way. I try not to judge others until I get to know them. I read some of them from time to time and I don't personally care either way.
There have been a lot of rumors posted on message boards about your last leg (held up by customs) and the state of your relationship (didn't speak to each other for months after the show). How does it feel to be the subject of those kind of rumors and would you like to reply to them?
Customs? Never heard that one. As far as Josh and I not speaking to each other, that is a bunch of crap, I am on the phone with him right now. This is a good reason not to believe anything on the boards.
Are people recognizing you from the race, and if so, how do you feel about that?
Yeah, from time to time, especially here in Santa Barbara
Do you feel that your relationship was permanently affected by the race? If so, how, and has it continued to change or grow?
When you have an experience like we had together, it can only make it better.
What have you been up to since race?
I'm back at the job enjoying it more than ever and keeping in touch with my TAR 4 cohorts and waiting for my phone call for the TAR All Stars show.
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[Thanks to CBS's PR Department for arranging this interview.]