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Race to Survive: Alaska Stars Discuss Their Alliance Falling Apart
Bella and Cason joined Jeff and Hunter in the first-ever Race to Survive: Alaska alliance.
Race To Survive: Alaska is a game of intense strategy at all times. While most teams are out for themselves, two teams emerged as a powerful alliance that ultimately had to be broken as the competition heated up. Speaking to USA Insider, father-son duo Jeff and Hunter Leininger opened up about the many pros and cons of having siblings Bella and Cason Crane ally themselves with them.
In episode 6, Bella and Cason finally struck out on their own using the navigation skills they picked up from Jeff and Hunter in the previous races to try to earn an advantage of their own. While the move pretty much put an end to their alliance, the father and son explained that it was beneficial to both teams while it lasted. For Hunter, they provided some much-needed companionship.
“Yeah, it was interesting because, when we first met Bella and Cason, it was on day two, and we were just happy to be with people. We were like, ‘Oh, man, there are actually other people out here!’” Hunter explained. “So, it was great to just see them and hang out with them. For me… I was 21 years old and usually, in these races, I don’t see anybody my age. They’re all my dad’s age, 40, 50, 60 years old. So, it was just cool to see somebody that was my age out there doing it.”
He added: “So, we made this cool friendship where they gave us company and we gave them a bunch of experience and taught them a lot of stuff.”
He noted that, after the show, he continues to keep in touch with Bella and Cason all the time. In fact, they’re chatting via text every time a new episode airs. As for his father, Jeff, he revealed that being around all the youthful people forced him to step up his game in a way he didn’t know he could.
“About every 10 minutes, I have to run to catch up, and what it did was it increased my pace because those three young people were going at such a fast pace that I think if it was just Hunter and I Hunter would be slowing down and waiting for his dad. But here, it actually helped me become faster in the event and gain more time, more distance on the other teams that were behind us,” Jeff revealed.
Although Hunter and Jeff have been open about what a bonding experience this was for them, he too had to admit that he was very grateful to have two other people to socialize with.
“It really helped me out! I’ve been racing with Hunter for 15-plus years. I know Hunter, he’s my son, obviously, and I know every single thing about him. We talk, but at a point, we’ve talked about everything and so to have two new people that could hang with us and have fun with us was cool because we got to talk their stories and tell them our stories. It passed the time of the suffering out there to have two other people.”
However, with the alliance officially broken, Hunter and Jeff face new challenges from a team educated in navigation by, for their money, the best in the game. How will that impact their chances going forward?
Tune in to Race To Survive: Alaska every Monday at 11/10c on USA Network to find out. You can catch more survival shows on Peacock now.