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‘Our luck ran out’: Valley couple eliminated from Amazing Race Canada

CENTREVILLE - If Hamilton Elliott was able to inspire just one person during his time on the reality TV show Amazing Race Canada, it will mean more to him than any prize.

Centreville couple Hamilton Elliott and Michaelia Drever were eliminated from The Amazing Race Canada July 29.

The Centreville resident, along with his fiancé Michaelia Drever, were eliminated in the fourth leg of the CTV show that challenges teams to complete challenges while racing around the world.

Elliott is transgendered and wanted to share his story with Canadians.

“I’m glad I got to run the race and shed some light on the transgender community,” Elliott said. “I hope I was able to help some people. Everybody is different.”

Drever says they’ve received nothing but support, especially in Kings County.

“We’ll be in the mall and people will come up to us and say, ‘Oh my God, you’re the couple on the Amazing Race!’ Everybody’s been so sweet and so supportive.”

Elliott only had the opportunity to share his story with one other team on the Amazing Race – fellow Nova Scotians Brent and Sean Sweeney, who grew up in Musquodoboit and now live in Toronto.

“It was a really refreshing moment, just to step back from the race, not even think about it,” Drever said of the moment when Elliott shared his secret.

“It was just a little thing there, but to have them say, ‘Oh my God, we’re so proud of you.’ It was refreshing to see how connected you were and how coming on the race gave everybody such a great experience. That, in itself, was incredible.”

The brothers, who are both gay, shared many similar experiences with Elliott growing up. The two teams developed a strong friendship and are still in touch now. Elliott and Drever are pulling for them to win the race.


Tough race

“It was so cool to be on the race. I’ve watched this show since I was a little kid,” he says.

The Amazing Race Canada is much more difficult than it looks, he adds.

“There’s so much more to it. It’s very difficult, it’s very long, it’s very time consuming and it’s a very hard race to be in.”

There’s little time to rest, except between legs, and teams have to push themselves to the limits. Races can go up to 15 hours at a time, says Drever.

“How you run the leg is all up to you,” adds Elliott. “You can stop and eat but you’ll fall behind.”

Most teams chowed down on granola bars as they raced to complete their tasks.

The teams aren’t given any guidance on what to bring, either, said Drever. Racers can only pack what they can carry.

“You do everything yourself. We’ve gone backpacking before, we knew how we’d packed and what had come in handy,” she said.

Watching previous seasons also gave them ideas.

“Having a pen, a little notebook, a calculator – we’d seen the things they needed before and brought that along,” said Elliott.

It was easy to “get in the zone” during the race, Drever said, but they tried to take the time to look around at their surroundings. The stop in South America was amazing, she said.

“We tried to take the time to stop and look and take it all in.”

For Drever, the hardest task came in the first episode, where Elliott had to read a sports broadcast on TSN while she sat and watched.

“I thought we did very well, but TSN was hard. I saw Hamilton and I saw he was struggling, but it wasn’t an option for me to go over and encourage him,” she said.


‘Our luck ran out’

The Centreville couple was eliminated in the July 29 episode after Elliott left his passport on the plane when the Amazing Race made a stop in Halifax.

“I had the passport with me to show the flight attendant, and I held onto it and put it in the seat pocket in front of me,” Elliott said. “We were so excited getting off the plane in Halifax, we knew the area, we thought, ‘we’ve got this, this is our leg’, and I just forgot it when we ran off the plane.”

It wasn’t until he had a moment to think while Drever climbed to the top of the Macdonald Bridge that he realized he’d left it behind.

The duo was familiar with Halifax and completed the tasks quickly.

“We knew taxis can be hard to find in Halifax, so we just ran it, we probably ran 20 kilometres that day,” says Drever.

The time it cost them to return to the airport to retrieve the passport spelled the end.

“We would’ve finished in third place, if we hadn’t had to do that.”

Added Drever, “We actually don’t know how close it was – you don’t really see the other racers – we just knew we came in last.”

The Centreville couple says they accomplished everything they wanted to do.

“I hope everybody enjoyed watching, we tried our best but our luck ran out,” Elliott said.

Watching their elimination on July 29 was difficult, said Elliott, but more so for their family.

“I watched with my family, they cried, and I tried to tell them it was OK. It was sad to see, but Jon (host Jon Montgomery) said some amazing things to me on the mat,” Elliott said.

“If I helped just one person, it’s more amazing than any prize.”

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