The Amazing Race Wiki

Linda Ruiz and Karen Heins are a team of Bowling Moms on The Amazing Race 5.

Though not the strongest team physically, they persisted to reach the penultimate leg, becoming fan-favorites in their own right and becoming the first all-female team to reach the final four. However, Season 5 was before there was a mandatory limit for roadblocks a teammate could do which lead to controversy as several opposing teams had one member perform the vast majority of them. The Roadblock in the penultimate leg proved to be their undoing, as it was highly-physical and the other three teams each had their male members perform the task, leaving the Bowling Moms to finish in 4th place.


Retrieved from

Karen is the second most competitive person I know -- me being #1!Linda

Linda & Karen are self-proclaimed bowling moms from Palmdale, California. They met 12 years ago when they joined the local bowling team and have been doubles partners ever since. A major accomplishment for them was winning the California State Bowling Doubles Tournament in 1999. In addition to bowling, they go on family vacations together to Bass Lake in California.

Karen has been happily married for 21 years and has three children. Linda is celebrating her silver anniversary with her husband this year. She is also a mother of three children and teaches tennis.

Linda & Karen describe themselves as "athletic moms who like to compete at everything." They are excited to compete in THE AMAZING RACE 5 so they can see new places and meet new people.[1]

When and where did you meet?
Linda: Karen and I met 15 years ago at Kindergarten Roundup for our sons, who are now 19 years old.
If you could describe your relationship in one phrase or sentence, what would it be?
Linda: Our relationship is primarily based on our bowling competitions.
Have you ever traveled together before? If so, what were the best and worst aspects of traveling together?
Linda: We vacation each year at Bass Lake, California, and we travel to National and State Bowling tournaments.
Why did you decide to team up for THE AMAZING RACE?
Linda: Karen is the second most competitive person I know—me being #1!
As you begin the Race, how do you think this experience will affect your relationship?
Linda: No change.
What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to the Team?
Linda: Mentally I am the strongest, but I tend to whine when in last place.
What strengths and weaknesses does your teammate bring to the Team?

Linda: Karen is very athletic and competitive. She never gives up. She believes everything has to be perfect.[2]

The Amazing Race 5[]

Race History[]

Linda & Karen's Race History
Episode Leg Destination(s) Detour Choice
Placement Notes
1 1 United States → Uruguay Zips / Chips No Roadblock 3 of 11
2 2 Uruguay → Argentina Perro / Tango Karen 4 of 10
3 3 Argentina Smooth Sailing / Rough Riding Linda 6 of 9
4 4 Argentina → Russia Block 5 Shots / Drink 1 Shot Linda 6 of 8
5 5 Russia → Egypt Rock & Roll / Hump & Ride Karen 7 of 7
6 6 Egypt Herd It / Haul It Linda 6 of 7
7 7 Egypt → Kenya → Tanzania Buzzing / Busy Karen 3 of 6
8 8 Tanzania → United Arab Emirates Off Plane / Off Road Linda 4 of 5 [1]
9 9 United Arab Emirates → India Heavy but Short / Light but Long Karen 3 of 5
10 10 India → New Zealand Clean / Dirty Karen 2 of 5
11 11 New Zealand → Philippines Plow / Fowl Linda 2 of 4
12 12 Philippines Unknown Karen 4 of 4 [2]
Average 4.17
     The team finished in first place
     The team finished in last place and was eliminated from the race
     The team finished in last place in a non-elimination leg
     The team that won The Amazing Race
     The team that crossed the Finish Line second
     The team that crossed the Finish Line third
The team used the Fast Forward pass
> The team used the Yield
< Recipient of the Yield

1: Leg 8 had an unaired Roadblock involving buying and delivering nuts. Linda was shown in promotional material performing the Roadblock, as well as mentioning that in the next episode she did the previous (Leg 8) Roadblock, despite the last aired (Leg 7) being preformed by Karen.
2: Leg 12 had a Detour, however all teams were shown performing the same task, and was aired as a miscellaneous task.



Franchise Records[]

  • Linda & Karen are the first team to be penalized for checking in last in a Non-Elimination Leg.
    • First team to surrender their money as a penalty.
  • First all-female team to reach the final four.
  • First team eliminated on the twelfth leg of the race.
  • First team eliminated on the penultimate leg of the race.
  • First all-female team to finish in 4th place or better.
  • First team to be eliminated in the Philippines.
  • First team to finish in 4th place without winning any previous legs.

External links[]


  • Harry Smith on The Early Show (09/22/2004): "Amazing Race Ends with Proposal"
  • Ethan Alter at TV Guide Online (10/01/2004): "TAR's Bowling Moms Strike Out"
  • TARflies interview (01/22/2005): "Bowling Moms Rule!"

Social Media Profiles[]


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