Fight to the Finish

Two brothers travel across the country, busking for change, building igloos and searching for Ogopogo on The Amazing Race Canada.

The Amazing Race Canada just completed its first season and Edmontonian Cory Mitic’s team finished the race in second place. Mitic competed with his brother Jody, an Ottawa native and Canadian Forces veteran who lost both his legs below the knee after stepping on a mine in Afghanistan. Cory Mitic has worked as a labour relations officer in Edmonton for six years. He shared some of his experiences on The Amazing Race Canada with Avenue.

Who’s idea was it to apply for The Amazing Race Canada?

Actually, I wasn’t Jody’s original partner. A guy Jody knew from the army asked him to form a team. They made it to the personal-interview round and were told they would need four weeks away from work. So the other guy asked his boss for the time off but his boss said, ‘no.’ As soon as I heard that, I told Jody: ‘Dude, if he can’t do it, I’ll go ask my boss right now.’ My boss said ‘yes.’

Didn’t you say, “Dude, why didn’t you think of me first?”

Not really. I was just happy he and I could apply after his friend wasn’t able to go.

What was your reaction when you were chosen?

We flipped out. They actually called us separately and I asked three times if they were being serious or screwing around with me.

What was your key strategy before the race?

Our key strategy was to run our own race, never mind what the other people were doing. Also, we had take care of Jody’s stumps and make sure he did his routine of cleaning and applying ointments just to make sure there was no tissue breakdown.

Worst moment? 

When we were flying from Yellowknife to Carcross, Yukon on the third plane (of three) after I signed us up on the wrong flight. (The pair could have left on the second plane, which would have given them a time advantage on the teams that had to take plane number three.) Especially when we knew the other two teams on that flight had Express Passes (An Express Pass allows a team to bypass a task during the race).

Best moment?

Iqaluit. When we were running up that hill hand-in-hand knowing we had first place for the first time.

Favourite task?

The scuba dive in Kelowna. That was pretty cool.

The worst?

Definitely the lentils in Regina. (Teams had to dig through a truckload of lentils to find two small stuffed animals. This task was so tough two of the remaining six teams in the race quit this task and took two-hour penalties.) At the point near the end, after three hours, I was using my feet to dig because my arms were seizing up.

Which team did you connect with?

Jody and I tried to run our own race so we didn’t really try to. But there were a number of times early in the race when I had to stop Jody from helping the other teams. Because of his military training, he felt the need to help people, giving advice on how to stay warm when it’s cold out, stuff like that. I kept telling him: ‘Dude, you got to stop doing that.’

Was there a sense of disappointment when you saw Tim Sr., the “Old Trapper,” as you called him, run out of Toronto’s Brick Works after completing the final task? (Tim Sr. was half of the winning team, which included his son, Tim Jr.)

I’ve been beating myself up about this for a long while, but at that point I didn’t know it was the last task of the race. I didn’t think it would be because it was fairly early in the day. And I thought the final leg in the race would be much more grueling, but it wasn’t.

Despite not winning, you won some nice prizes in the end, like trips to the Caribbean and South America plus Super Elite Status on Air Canada for a year. So where are you going first?

We’re discussing a Caribbean Christmas – take the family down and have a nice, hot holiday.

Was it hard to adjust to regular life in Edmonton once the race was over?

It was definitely very strange, especially when it was on TV. Every meeting or social function I went to, I spoke about the race for at least the first five minutes.

If season two visits Edmonton, where should it go?

The Muttart Conservatory is certainly a good place. Definitely West Edmonton Mall. There are certainly many spots there for them to run around. And the army base on the north end of town – that could be very interesting.

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