As far as classic The Amazing Race mistakes go, not taking a cab to your next destination and choosing to leg it out instead is pretty darned classic. But it’s one that mother-daughter team Marty Cobb and Hagen Parkman unfortunately made in the show’s second episode, and one that cost them the game.
Cobb, a flight attendant whose video (below) went viral and caused the show to reach out to her, never in a million years thought she’d audition for a show like TAR, being a “spa and sit-by-the-pool kind of girl.” But when it meant a chance to explore the world with her daughter, she figured why not.
Even though they wound up being the first team eliminated following a tough volcano challenge and a cook-off detour last Friday, Cobb maintains she’d now do it all over again, having learned a lot about her personal limits through the experience.
What went through your head the moment Phil said you were going home?
Cobb: Oh gosh, we were both just broken-hearted. Obviously we loved being on the Race and we weren’t ready to be done. We couldn’t believe we were going home. We worked so hard to get there. Just broken hearted.
How did you bounce back emotionally?
Cobb: I don’t know that I have! Going into it, Hagen and I both just thought from the very beginning that we would do everything that we had to do and we would never give up and try to just enjoy the experience. We just tried to focus on the positive things and really just to be able to do it and to be a part of such a great group of people and to be a part of that show was such wonderful experience. I wouldn’t have been any less sad if I’d gone home the next leg or the next leg or the next leg. You just want to keep racing!
Now that you’ve done this, was there anything you underestimated about the show going into it?
Cobb: I don’t know that we did, because we knew just from watching every season how tough it was. Obviously it’s always tougher in person when you’re the one doing it. But we knew we were up against really competitive people and I don’t know that you can underestimate it. It was just harder in person. So much of it is just keeping your head on your shoulders and making good decisions and not making mistakes.
Was there anything cut due to editing that you were hoping people would see?
Cobb: I think y’all saw pretty much the hard part. There’s a lot of running, and I’m obviously not 20 anymore, and so that’s tough. The first leg up I think we climbed 10 flights of stairs to get on that roof. The tough part is trying to complete each task and you’re competing against all these other people. Hagen had a really tough time in the volcano, and that cave was pretty tough, but I think they portrayed it really well.
You were lucky in that no one had the chance to sabotage you, curious though who would be the team most likely to sabotage another at this point?
Cobb: I really don’t know. Everybody that’s in this Race, including us, everybody is very competitive and everybody is there to win it. Everybody’s nice and we all loved each other. I think we had a great group of people. I honestly can’t think of anybody that would stab another person in the back. They’re just good people. When it comes down to it if you have to U-Turn somebody… if we had the opportunity and we thought it was the only way that we were going to win, then we would have done that. At the end of the day it is a race and it is a game for a million dollars. So it may happen, but I know don’t that any teams were against each other.
Any teams in particular that you’re looking forward to staying in touch with?
Cobb: Definitely. We got really close with Tyler and Corey, we just love them and think they’re precious. I’m working on the adoption papers right now. And we got to be really close with Sherry and Cole too. It’s so corny, but it really is such a great group of people. We’re so thankful to have been a part of all it. We all keep in touch still and I think we will continue to. We’re like a family now.
What did you learn about yourself and about Hagen through this?
Cobb: I would never have auditioned for The Amazing Race on my own; I don’t have that personality, that thrill-seeking aspect. I’m more of a spa and sit-by-the-pool kind of girl. I learned that I’m a lot tougher than I thought I was. At this age you kind of realize that this is it, this is your life and you’ve got to make the most of it. I just found out that I had a lot more strength and determination than I give myself credit for.
Same thing with Hagen. She’s such a little firecracker. She’s the baby of our family and we’re both pretty sappy people and we cry at Disney movies, but same thing — she’s tougher and less patient than I thought she was, but she’s very competitive and tough. She was not about to give up.
How would you describe Phil in one sentence?
Cobb: I just love him, he’s funny and he’s smart and we just love him. He’s the perfect host for that show and he treats everybody the same. We just fell in love with him too, I think he’s precious.
If you had the chance would you race again?
Cobb: Absolutely. And it’s so funny, I would not in a million years have auditioned on my own. And when they asked us to do it, I said, ‘Let’s just do it.’ And now that I’ve done it I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Between this show and your viral video, any hopes of parlaying the experiences into anything else?
Cobb: I’m open for whatever it is that happens. Everything that’s happened to me even in the last year and a half, after that video, have been above and beyond anything that I could have ever imagined. Even intended on happening. If anything else came out of it then obviously yes, I would feel blessed and be up for whatever lies ahead. And same thing with Hagen. I would love for something to happen for her too.