Texans Jody Kelly, 71, and her granddaughter Shannon Foster, 22, remember their Amazing Race journey fondly – despite spitting llamas, kicking cows, rainy weather in Chile and getting eliminated on the second leg. And as the oldest racer in show history, Kelly told PEOPLE she hopes she inspired my age and older to get off the sofa, stay active and enjoy the reminder of their lives instead of twiddling their thumbs and waiting to die. –Carrie Bell
You were at the farm before the second-to-last team. Editing made it look like you were neck-in-neck. Jody: We don t know how exactly close we were to Michael and Louie in terms of checking in, but we were not all that far behind them leaving the farm. I would certainly guess we got to Phil less than a half hour after them.
What went wrong?Jody: I was a little rattled after the cow kick in the face. I could also not wrap my head around the fact that the pantry was outdoors in a shed way behind the house. I went all over the place looking for it. Shannon: The task before with the llamas actually took us longer. By the time we got there, the tamest llamas had been dressed. We were left with the stubborn, aggressive ones and I kept trying to rope these mean llamas for over a half hour. Finally, I saw that the dressing had fallen off one of the others. Then it was easy.
They say never work with children or animals and you certainly learned why animals are included in that advice.Shannon: I m definitely not a fan of llamas. I got way too much llama poop and spit on me. Jody: The cow kick was worse. I had a bump on my head afterward. At the moment, in a state of supreme surprise and competition, I minimized the pain. I really did whip right around and go to a different cow and started milking again. Later on, I realized the possibility of a concussion existed. I probably did get a bit more flustered than I was willing to admit at the time. It was harder to operate after that, but I don t blame the cow. Cows kick. That s what they do. Shannon: Getting eliminated was a combination of so many decisions we made starting with getting the last bus. Perhaps had we chosen the condor.
The water looked freezing.Shannon: It was cold out there so we figured if we got wet and even colder, it would be harder to do the next task. We didn t know there were wet suits involved. Jody: Still, hypothermia is nothing to be trifled with.
How d you come to apply for the show?Shannon: We are both at times in our lives when we are able to do something crazy because we don t have responsibilities. Grandma was the first to decide. It took me a little more convincing. I m really responsible and thought I should be getting a full-time job after college, not going on TV. Jody: And I was aware that their had never been grandmother/granddaughter team on the show or someone over 70. We re a twofer and it got us on.
Did the Race change you?Shannon: I always knew I liked traveling, but I have more of a travel bug now. It also put things in perspective for me. I realized I don t always have to be the responsible one and do what everyone does. It is okay to have adventures. Jody: In my case, I thought my life was all set. I thought I d continue training the elderly and doing races but I have expanded my scope. I m going to enter a half Ironman contest and I am fully committed to doing a full marathon. I want to bike through Norway and walk the Appalachian Trail. It reminds you of those dreams and to live in the moment.