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Family happy with 'Amazing' experience

A St. Petersburg native and her three children failed to win the $1-million top prize, but they enjoyed the challenge nonetheless.

Published December 15, 2005

The big night on CBS's The Amazing Race: Family Edition came Tuesday, and St. Petersburg native Linda Weaver and her brood had a one-in-three shot at a $1-million.

They fell just short. Weaver, 47, daughters Rebecca, 19, and Rachel, 17, and son Rolly, 15, distinguished themselves throughout the season with occasionally silly antics, frequent references to their Christian faith, and the ability to endure emotional tasks and dirty looks from competitors without snapping at each other.

Weaver, now a teacher in Ormond Beach (north of Daytona Beach), grew up in St. Petersburg and graduated from Northeast High School, when she was Linda Scarbrough. She was widowed in 2004 when her husband, Roy, was killed in an accident at Daytona International Speedway. A big test on Amazing Race came when the family had to take part in a challenge on the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. They rallied through with a few tears and moved on.

Three teams remained for Tuesday's finale, a race through Canada to Niagara Falls. The Weavers finished third by just a few minutes. A CBS spokesman said they would be compensated for their time, but the financial arrangements are not disclosed.

The Linz family - three brothers and their sister - from Cincinnati, Ohio, won the million.

Weaver, in a phone interview Wednesday, said she is proud of the way her family dealt with the struggles and proud that everyone did their best all the way through. The friction between them and other families were just the result of competitive racing, she said, and in some cases looked worse on camera than they really were.

"It was a great experience," she said.

The family agreed the experience was good for them. While Rolly and Rebecca said they would do it again, Rachel and her mom said it was a "once-in-a-lifetime" thing, not something they would want to repeat.

Weaver's mother, Lois Draper, still lives part of the year in St. Petersburg, and Weaver said she and the family will likely be in St. Petersburg after Christmas for a visit.

CBS reported the two-hour finale Tuesday was viewed by 11.3-million people.

[Last modified December 15, 2005, 00:32:19]

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