It starts with a call from Ford if you’re Matt Farah from Redondo Beach who runs the Los Angeles based “The Smoking Tire”. For others like Donna Ruko in the Focus Rally America it was answering a post in a trade paper promising a reality show based on a cross country road trip. For those that answered the call and got chosen its been an adventure unlike anything they’ve ever done before.
Four Los Angelenos have been on that adventure for 3 weeks now, due to end sometime in the next couple of weeks (my personal guess is somewhere here in LA). They are Matt Farah (Redondo Beach) and Brittany Boddington (Northridge) making up Team Red. Team Yellow also representing LA is Donna Ruko (Los Angeles) and Bryn Dresher (West Hollywood).
All of them are dialed into the social networking scene to a degree. The most notable is Matt Farah of the red team who owns The Smoking Tire the blog and on twitter as @thesmokingtire. His rally partner Brittany Boddington set up a tumblr blog just before this race and is on twitter as @britboddington. Donna Ruko has her own site and can be followed on twitter at @donnaruko. The only one without a significant web presence is Bryn. Complete bios are at their Rally America pages for Team Red and Team Yellow.
As racers in the Rally America part of their challenges involves their followers. Team Red currently has nearly double the amount of followers of its nearest competitors (8049) and Team Yellow is mid pack (3790). Why is this important? Well as a team follower you can interact with them while they are driving and help them solve challenges. As an example, today the followers had to find objects starting with specific letters and upload them to a facebook page, with check in at the checkpoint based on your completion time. Sort of an interactive Amazing Race.
Their days are planned out by the production team, but they have no idea what is in store for them when they wake up every day. Their days are so busy with challenges, checkpoint and jump start that they have no time to do touristy stuff, and if they do have some down time they all have to agree on what they do and do it together. For Donna she says she has seen so much of this country this trip that she is looking to going back to many of the places and being a tourist and just check out what she missed.
When I talked with them this morning they had plenty of good things to say about this adventure, but they all missed LA to a degree. For Matt, Brittany and Bryn its the homey things like their own bed, their cats and friends here in the city. For Donna its hikes up behind the Hollywood sign that she misses the most. Regardless, their adventures will be over soon and they’ll be back to life in LA and its adventures.
When we travel we all miss something from home, these guys have been on the road 25 days already and told me what they missed about LA. What do you miss most about LA when you travel? Just curious.
Screen grab with the permission of Focus Rally America