Alumna Mary Cardona-Foster to compete on The Amazing Race

March 7, 2024
Promotional image of Mary Cardona Foster and her father on The Amazing Race
Group photo of Amazing Race cast with alum Mary Cardona-Foster

Mary Cardona-Foster, a 2018 graduate of Fitchburg State University, will be among the competitors on the upcoming season of the globe-trotting, Emmy Award-winning reality series “The Amazing Race.”

Cardona-Foster, a Waltham native who works as a marketing manager, is a longtime fan of reality TV.  And “The Amazing Race” was her late mother’s favorite television show.

“I applied on a whim, and got a casting call,” she said. With her father, Chris Foster, as her teammate, they went through a battery of psychological examinations, vaccinations, and other trials just to qualify to appear on the show. 

They were selected as alternates, but Cardona-Foster chose to look at the bright side. “I’m a positive person, so I thought, ‘That’s not a no.’”

They were flown to Los Angeles and stood by for several nights, until they got the call that they were indeed being added to the season’s cast of competitors.

Cardona-Foster is forbidden from discussing how she and her father fared on the show - viewers will have to tune in when the season premieres on March 13 - but was happy to say it was a meaningful experience. “Doing the show with my dad was very special,” she said. “He’s always been my biggest supporter.”

Cardona-Foster returned to the Fitchburg State campus in February to start work with current students in the Communications Media Department. For Professor Randy Howe’s class on communicating project design, Cardona-Foster will be serving as the client for whom teams of undergraduate students will be preparing marketing materials and campaigns. Later this semester, she will pick the winning proposal.

She said it was gratifying to be back on campus, where she honed the skills that she uses in her professional life every day. She majored in Communications Media with a concentration in professional communications and a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, Cardona-Foster also worked with the Athletics Department and was among 40 students selected from across the country to participate in the NCAA Convention Division III Student Immersion Program.

“I loved Fitchburg State because I felt like a big fish in a small pond,” she said. “I appreciated the real-world experiences I had. Now, it’s nice to give back to the university with my knowledge and experience.” 

“The Amazing Race” kicks off Wednesday, March 13 (9:30-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs).