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Posted on June 29, 2016

Portrait of Cal U student Kristen McKenzie

The teams are off as “The Amazing Race Canada” begins its fourth season, and a Cal U grad is in on the action.

Kristen McKenzie, a 2012 communication studies graduate with a concentration in television and radio, is among the competitors in the reality TV show, which sends teams to locations around the world in a race to the finish line.

McKenzie, a sales executive, is competing alongside her real-life partner, Stephanie LeClair. Both women are from Toronto.

“Amazing Race” contestants must decipher clues and participate in physical and mental challenges along the way. Couples who do not finish the tasks quickly enough face elimination.

The season finale is Sept. 13, and although McKenzie can’t reveal the outcome or discuss many details about the show until then, she called the adventure a memorable experience.

“The show aired in America when I was a teen-ager,” she said, “and I thought it would be so cool to do, because it’s so competitive.”

As a former left fielder for the Vulcan softball team, McKenzie relishes competition, and she said her experience on the team, along with being an international student, helped her during “The Amazing Race Canada.”

“The coaches and trainers pushed us physically and mentally and taught us to push ourselves. Being a student-athlete prepares you for tasks and challenges. Not everyone has that preparation.

“And going to school internationally was a big help, too, to learn how to adjust to different surroundings.

The show, which is broadcast throughout Canada, was filmed from April through early May.

“You think you’re prepared, but I was pushed harder than I’ve ever been pushed before,” McKenzie said. “It was an awesome experience.”

To keep up with the team’s progress, follow Kristen McKenzie on Twitter @KrlstenMcKenzie and “The Amazing Race Canada” @AmazingRaceCDA.