Exclusive Interview: Monique and Shawne from 'The Amazing Race 16'
Exclusive Interview: Monique and Shawne from 'The Amazing Race 16'
Another bad way to end your run on The Amazing Race: get stuck in a particular task and see every other team pass by you. That's what happened to "mompreneurs" Monique and Shawne: they got stuck in the Roadblock in Argentina. But, in their usual fashion, they never lost hope, and finished the rest of the tasks without grumbling or arguing. That gets a plus point for me.

I figured you do a lot when you're a mompreneur, so it took me a while to talk to Monique and Shawne--but finally, we got to talk about their run on the race, their childrens' reactions, and that Roadblock.

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First off, how and when did you meet?

Shawne: We met in college in 1990. We were in the same sorority.

How did it feel being in second place during the first leg? Surely you didn't see that coming...

Shawne: We knew we were in the top group because we could see when we arrived at the right houses that there were other teams that arrived before us, that couldn't find their house to paint. What you didn't see on TV is, we had a pretty good lead at various points of the race.

Monique: Before our cab driver got us lost we knew we were in about fifth place. What you didn't see was everyone trying to follow us.

Shawne, how long did it take you to finish the Roadblock?

Shawne: I can't say how much time it actually took me to do the lasso because I was just focused on completing it, whatever it took. My main goal was never to focus on the other teams because I didn't want to get distracted.

Monique, you seemed helpless after watching Shawne struggle with the lasso...

Monique: I did feel helpless, but I was so proud of Shawne. She was so focused and did not get rattled. She never let them see her sweat. I was so proud of her.

Despite the delay in Argentina, you both still ran a pretty solid race. What do you think did you do differently?


Monique: It's hard to say what we could've done differently. What many do not realize is that the game is part mental. Who knows, if we would've chosen horse sense first we may have gotten confused like the other teams did.

Another thing that struck me the most was your strong faith, as seen in both the cable walking and lasso-throwing tasks. How did your faith power you through the race?

Monique: Shawne and I constantly relied on our faith to get us through. There were so many acts of God's intervention that you didn't see. Each time we came to a place we needed direction we asked God for his help.

Shawne: There were other times when we had "little angels" helping us in various cities, like Chile (we are still praying for the people there) and we had these lambs on Isla Margarita that really led us to the clue box the entire way--that was beautiful!

Monique: When we arrived at the paint challenge and saw the other teams walking around for hours, we asked God to send us a sign, to lead us in the right direction. Right after the prayer, this tourist couple walks towards us and told us exactly where to go. We had to follow a trail to find the clue to get to the llamas. Once again, we said, "Lord, show us the way." That's when a herd of sheep led us directly to the clue box. They actually looked back at us as if to say, "hurry up and follow us!"

Shawne: With all the running, weather and driving conditions we knew it was God that led us. Even though we didn't win the race we are already seeing the positive effects of us being on the race. We received so many emails, calls and messages from other people who have commented on how positive we carried ourselves and constantly encouraged one another even when it got hard. While we wanted to inspire moms and others to challenge themselves, it's been really inspiring to me to continue to move forward to help other women and families who are looking to earn additional income through my wellness business.

Did you get a chance to bond with the other teams?

Shawne: We bonded with Jordan and Dan, Mike and Louie--we formed the East Coast Alliance. We had fun times sharing together! We also bonded with others like Steve and Allie, we got along with everyone and enjoyed hearing people's stories. The ECA definitely formed a connection!

I'm sure your children watched the race with you. What were their reactions after seeing what you did in those three legs?

Shawne: Our kids absolutely loved it! We all watched the race together as a family on Sunday nights, so they were so excited about their mommies being on, and they are so proud of us!

Monique: My children love The Amazing Race. They often play with their dad in the back seat of the truck saying "go Daddy go!", pretending we are in The Amazing Race. They were so excited to see their mom on TV. They received a lot of attention from other kids at school. While watching the third episode my four-year-old was so upset that we were losing. She said, "mommy, I liked the show when you came in second, better than this one."

What was your favorite part of the race?

Shawne: Seeing all the beautiful countries and seeing all the beautiful people in different countries who were so excited about us running through their neighborhoods and so ready to assist us, knowing that we are amongst a very select group chosen to run this race. It's been an awesome, once in a lifetime opportunity!

Monique: Although I was doing the race to fulfill a dream, a main goal of ours was to be able to inspire other mothers to continue reaching for their goals. As mothers, we sometimes put our families before ourselves and we want mothers to remember the women they were before they became mothers: vivacious and fun-loving and adventurous.

What have you been up to after the race?

Monique: I continue to be a voice for working women. I have an online magazine for working mothers called momsextraordinaire.com. There, we act as a resource for working mothers who advise on everything from their next career to the best diapers and where is the next sale on a pair of Prada shoes.

Shawne: I'm still running my business--my hair business is keeping me busy, especially with all the exposure from TV and my wellness business has also picked up since I team up with other moms to help them earn income from home.





(Image courtesy of CBS)

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