Amazing Friends

How Two Best Friends Gave it
Their All to Win The Amazing Race Canada

Story by Ryan Percy
Photography courtesy of CTV

With a best friend anything is possible, someone to push you past your limits to exceed in ways you never thought possible. For Craig Ramsay and Catherine Wreford Ledlow their camaraderie led them to not only new heights but victory fame across Canada.

The Amazing Race Canada had to take a pause during 2020 and 2021 but restarted in 2022 as the COVID-19 pandemic has been seeming to abide. Craig and Catherine had been selected to take part and the duo were off on the race of their lives.

Best friends Catherine and Craig from Winnipeg and Windsor, winners of season 8 of CTV’s The Amazing Race Canada. Photo by Todd Fraser.

The duo’s journey was not without hardship and uncertainty that left the two of them early in the race worrying if they’d even manage to win. The two were flying high after winning the third leg of the race, but then it all came tumbling down.

“Not only did we test positive for COVID but two other teams had positive results as well,” Craig, a Harrow native, says of how they and two teams were side-lined for two legs. “We weren’t told what was going to happen, there was a lot of uncertainty. Catherine and I had to accept the fact that it was more likely than not that our race was finished.”

The producers of the show found a way and two of the three teams were allowed to come back on to continue competing, Craig and Catherine being one of the pairs.

Back in the game the two of them were able to focus on the plan they had from the beginning.

“Our ultimate goal was to get to the finale,” Craig laughs at their goals they set out for during the race. “But as soon as we started the finale, we quickly switched to we wanted to win.”

And they did.

The two crossed the finish line and became the champions for the eighth season of The Amazing Race Canada. Which, with a pre-recorded season the two had to keep secret for since May of 2022.

“The secret has been torture,” Craig says of needing to keep their win under wraps. “I had to develop a technique and if people noticed that I’ve been slightly quiet on social media it was because I simply didn’t trust myself.”

While the thrill of victory, the $250,000 in prize money, trip for two anywhere in the world and two 2022 Chevrolet Silverados are great rewards, Craig said some of the best parts are the experiences they were able to have along the way.

“Climbing to the top of the Ferris Wheel and seeing all of Montreal from up there is going to forever be in my mind,” Craig said of one moment that stuck out to him during the race.

But the race had more importance to the two and has led to a story of perseverance and endurance. Catherine was competing in the race with a diagnosed terminal illness. While the cameras caught much of their moments throughout, not everything made it to air.

“It was amazing having the opportunity to see Catherine’s dream of being up in a biplane with the wind in her hair,” Craig says of one heartfelt moment the duo experienced. “What the cameras weren’t able to capture was that she said she really wanted to be up there, because sooner than she wants, she will be up there looking down on her children.”

But despite the diagnosis Craig said Catherine has laid a legacy down with their win.

“She’ll be the first to identify this win as her legacy but she doesn’t want her terminal illness to define her,” Craig says of how he’s seen Catherine respond to their shared victory. “She doesn’t want to let any day go by that she’s not living her best life.”

Craig, at 45-years-old, says he was glad he was able to show even at his age fitness is important, especially with the pressure of the show meaning he had to not slack when they were expected to run three to eight miles every day to compete. However, when asked if he wanted to ever compete in a potential all-star season and do it again he laughs.

“I’m always a yes person,” he says. “But I’m also a mature, sensible person, a middle-aged man. Just like a good sitcom, I’m not going to stick around until things get bad.”

Craig is also an out member of the LGBTQ community in Windsor-Essex and hopes to use his fame to support the community and help to be a role model to others to show them they can do great things if they set their minds to it. This has even led to organizations in the area reaching out to him.

“The Windsor Essex Pride Fest Festival reached out and asked if I would be the Grand Marshal for 2023,” Craig says. “That means the world to me.”

Craig is also not just simply one of the winners of The Amazing Race Canada. He’s a fitness advocate, author and motivational speaker. A package of skills that he hopes to be able to use along with his fame to better support the community.

“I want to be there for people,” Craig says. “Let’s have a conversation that helps better ourselves. If I can be of assistance and give back, especially to Windsor-Essex County friends and family, I certainly am available and willing to do that.”

With Craig having competed in the first post-pandemic race he says while people should definitely go to compete on The Amazing Race Canada they should see the victory of Catherine and himself as an important learning tool.

“Be vulnerable to put yourself out there and to rekindle the kind of friendship that Catherine and I have,” Craig says of what he took away the most from his time on the show. “The pandemic was a lonely isolation for many and some relationships feel more distant than they should be. Reconnect with your chosen family, with your friends, then do what Cath and I did. Explore and have new experiences, it’s time to do that.”

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