Inside the Race Across the World winners lives now: From new careers to mending family bonds

Race Across the World is a unique reality series that allows viewers to become fearless travellers without even having to leave the sofa.

The hit BBC show, which first launched in 2019, follows five pairs as they race against one another to be the first to reach a far-flung corner of the world.

The catch is that they can only travel by land or sea and have no access to the internet or their mobile phones.

They are also only given the amount of money that is equivalent to the price of a one-way plane ticket to their final destination so they have to find work along the way to ensure they make it to the end.

The duos, who are made up of siblings, couples, relatives and friends, all have their own unique story to tell.

The new series which aired it's first episode on April 10 on BBC One sees the new cast travel from Japan to Lombok, Indonesia, the Mirror reports.

Here we take a look at what the previous Race Across the World's winners have been up to since their victory on the show and how the experience changed their lives..

Season 1 winners - Tony and Elaine Teasdale

Retired PE teachers, Tony and Elaine Teasdale were the first couple to win Race Across the World back in 2019.

Retired couple, Tony and Elaine Teasdale were the first people to ever win the show back in 2019 -Credit:BBC
Retired couple, Tony and Elaine Teasdale were the first people to ever win the show back in 2019 -Credit:BBC

The married couple, both 67, and from Beadlam, North Yorkshire raced all the way from the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich to the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore where they crossed the finish line before all of their opponents despite being the last duo to be brought into the race.

Across the way, they ticked off checkpoints in Greece, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, China and Cambodia.

Since their victory, the pair, who have recently returned from a month skiing in The Alps, have been travelling around the world, visiting countries such as Antarctica, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Patagonia, and New Zealand.

Elaine, 67, told the Mirror: “We’ve been inspired by Race Across The World. We want to go to Japan, where this year's show is going.

"Most of our friends have to have something booked. They have to have it all in place, but you don’t really need any of that. You just turn up and something will be available.”

Elaine and Tony have three children of their own as well as seven grandkids so their hands are full when they are at home but they enjoy going away during the cold winter months.

Elaine recalled: "I remember at the end of the show saying that I would happily sell up, sell everything and then just travel. Just go, live off the money and get work if we run out. I would still do that, but I don’t think Tony would.

“He likes his football, he likes his comforts and obviously we have seven grandchildren so we would like to see them grow up. It would be hard. We have moved back to where Tony was raised, he likes to be in his local village.

"My kids are forever telling me that on the show I kept saying, 'It's just nice not to have any responsibilities, not to be somebody's mum, not to be somebody’s grandma.’

"They are never going to let me live it down, because of course, that's a real privilege!’”

The adventurous couple show no signs of slowing down any time soon, even if they are retirees.

Elaine said: "To me, if you have got your health just do it. Because walking is just putting one foot in front of the other.

"Next week I am going with seven girlfriends to do the Camino in Spain!

"All our friends are our age or in their seventies, and I do think most of our friends aren’t that interested [in travelling]... When you do get people of like mind that want to do it it's quite refreshing. It's a mental state.”

Season 2 winners - Emon and Jamiul Choudhury

Emon Choudhury and his nephew Jamiul had barely spoken in a decade when they applied for the show together that they went on to win in 2020.

Emon Choudhury and his nephew Jamiul barely knew one another before they travelled from Mexico to Argentina together on the show -Credit:BBC
Emon Choudhury and his nephew Jamiul barely knew one another before they travelled from Mexico to Argentina together on the show -Credit:BBC

The series saw the uncle and nephew reconnect with one other after a family feud had left them estranged as they travelled from Mexico to Argentina to chase the £20,000 prize.

The pair donated more than half of their winnings to children's charities in South America and Emon, 40, has ramped up his charitable endeavours since arriving home.

The businessman, who runs a car mat company in Bradford, told the Mirror: “Since the show I have been raising money for charity, collectively I have raised over 100,000 now."

In 2022, Emon even ran a marathon while fasting during Ramadan.

He explained: “I had no food or water before, during or after the race. The hardest part for me was finishing the marathon at 1 or 2 pm, and then having to wait six hours until I broke my fast.

"I had lots of media things to do as well, so that was hard.”

Emon, who has since received a Pride of Britain award for his fundraising efforts, explains that starring on Race Across The World steered him towards altruism.

He said: “On the show, you are back to basics and it was an eye opener as it makes you realise how amazing this world is, and how kind humanity is.”

Despite winning the cash prize, Emon won something far more valuable thanks to his appearance on the show and that was his reconciliation with his father.

The 40-year-old had become estranged from his family after he chose to wed his beloved Laz, who is from outside of his Bangladeshi culture which his father was deeply unhappy by.

Emon, who has a two-year-old daughter called Lilly, said: "I now underestimated the power of TV. Up until Race Across the World, my dad and I didn’t really see eye to eye.

"Since Race Across the World aired, he sort of got why I did it [marry Laz]. It really helped with it being explained in the third person [to the audience] on TV. He watched it, and we had a good conversation once it ended.”

Emon continues: "After the show aired I spent a lot of time with my dad. Unfortunately, he passed away in covid time but the year that I had before he passed away was just remarkable for me.

"If I didn’t go on that show I don’t think I would have had that time with him so I am forever grateful to Race Across The World for that time with my dad.”

Meanwhile, his nephew Jamiul, now 29, has been working as an Architectural designer in London and is in his last year of his architecture degree.

Season 3 winners - Tricia Sail and Cathie Rowe

Tricia Sail, who has sight loss, won season 3 with her best friend Cathie Rowe as the pair came out on top after a race across Canada.

Tricia Sail [left] won the show with her best friend, Cathie Rowe after they raced across Canada together -Credit:BBC
Tricia Sail [left] won the show with her best friend, Cathie Rowe after they raced across Canada together -Credit:BBC

The 51-year-old from Exeter, Devon, said that the show has changed her life as she has gained so much confidence and hasn't stopped travelling since.

She said: "I have walked The Inca Trail with Cathie and her husband and we've trekked the Great Wall of China.

"This weekend, I've just finished the London landmark half marathon with a friend. I've been up to so much. We're off to Canada in June. Going back to revisit the guys that gave us a lift right at the very end.”

Aside from her new found passion for travel, Tricia, who has a condition called uveitis which causes black spots in her vision, says that her stint on the show also made her realise she needed a career change.

She explained: "I've changed jobs. So I was working at a bank, and now I work full time for RNIB [Royal National Institute of Blind People] as community connection coordinator.

"I was in quite a negative environment with work. So customers were saying that they didn't want me to help with their finances because I was blind, because I worked in a bank.

"So I'd been moved from branch to branch because of my eyesight, and certain things were not put in place for me.

"Then I was told that I had to downgrade twice because the systems weren't accessible, and I was told I couldn't do a lot of things because of my eyesight.”

However, it was a simple question on Race Across The World that completely changed her outlook on her life.

She recalled: "I think it was like day two, somebody said,’ Well, can you do that?’ And I was like, ‘What somebody's asking me if I can do something’?

"So I started trying stuff that I'd never kind of done before. And so it changed for me from ‘You can't do that because of your eyesight’ to a ‘Can you do it?’ environment.

"My anxiety and my stress are not completely gone, but it's become a lot better. And I'm definitely in a more positive frame of mind because of it.”

Race Across The World airs weekly on Wednesday evenings at 9pm on BBC One.

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