The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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April 9, 2013

Conneaut native in amazing journey

Husband, wife visit exotic locales on CBS reality show

CONNEAUT —

Last fall, Conneaut native Chuck McCall and his wife, Wynona, crammed more adventure into a 30-day span than most people experience in a lifetime.

The McCalls, as contestants on the popular television show, “The Amazing Race,” have visited some of the world’s most exotic locales and accomplished death-defying stunts in hopes of claiming a $1 million grand prize. Chuck, 47, and Wynona, 49, were one of 11 two-person teams that began the show, and their cleverness and endurance have kept them in the running — despite being the oldest couple still in the hunt.

“Race,” a pioneer among reality shows, is famous for sending contestants to far-flung destinations and subjecting them to outrageous mental and physical challenges. When contestants complete a challenge, they learn their next destination. The first team to reach the final destination wins the grand prize.

So far, the show has taken the McCalls — along with a two-person video/audio crew —to such places as Bora Bora, New Zealand and Vietnam.

“I’d never been out of the country before,” McCall said. “Maybe Niagara Falls once or twice.”

McCall, in town visiting family and friends the past few days, said “Race” has been a life-changing experience. Thanks to the show, a man who already enjoys the great outdoors enjoyed some outsized fun — like jumping out of an airplane.

“I really enjoyed the skydiving,” he said, laughing. “There’s some unbelievable stuff we’ve been able to do.”

Not surprisingly, McCall can’t talk about the outcome until the show concludes in the next few weeks. Communication with family was forbidden while the show was being filmed in parts of November and December. During that period, Chuck’s mother, Diane, said she received weekly calls from a “Race” staffer who assured mom her son was still in one piece.

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