Race Across The World season 3: release date, contestants, trailer and all we know

Race Across The World season 3 sees five pairs of contestants race across Canada.
Race Across The World season 3 sees five pairs of contestants race across Canada. (Image credit: BBC)

After a three-year wait due to the pandemic, the BAFTA-winning series, Race Across The World season 3 is here with a new location and five new pairs of contestants. 

This time the race is taking place in Canada which means there are wild bears to contend with, bison to admire, crystal clear lakes to cross and forests to get lost in when the intrepid teams don their backpacks and get ready for the biggest race of their lives.

With no mobile phones, internet access or credit cards to assist them and a £20,000 pot of prize money up for grabs for the fastest team, the race is on! 

The pairs begin their adventure in Stanley Park, Vancouver on the Pacific coast and must use their wits, ingenuity and rely on the kindness of strangers to help them travel over 16,000km and across six time zones by land to North America’s most easterly city, St John’s Newfoundland on the Atlantic. 

Race Across The World season 3 — air date 

The new series of Race Across The World starts on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 9 pm on BBC One and iPlayer.

If you didn't see the first two series, seasons 1 and 2 are also available to watch on iPlayer now.

Race Across The World Series 3.

On your marks, get set, go! The race is on.  (Image credit: BBC)

Race Across The World season 3 — where will the contestants be travelling and what will they get up to? 

The pairs will start their journey at the very edge of the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver.

They will attempt to travel over 16,000 kilometres across six time zones all at ground level to the finish line perched on the rugged Atlantic coast, North America’s most easterly city — St John’s, Newfoundland. 

The journey will take the duos through “the very edges of civilisation, taking in vast prairies, untouched wilderness, and great lakes”.

Race Across The World Series 3.

Race Across The World series three begins in Vancouver, Canada.  (Image credit: BBC)

What are the rules of Race Across The World? 

The couples aren’t allowed to use air travel and must go without the trappings of modern-day life. That means no mobile phone, no internet access and no credit cards.

Each couple is given an equal amount of cash at the start of the journey and if they need any more, they have to find ways to earn it. That might mean mucking out livestock, helping with light construction work or getting free lifts to help them on their way. Winning requires ingenuity, luck and the kindness of strangers! 

Whoever reaches the finish line at the final location in St John’s Newfoundland quickest will be crowned the winner and pocket the £20,000.

Is there a trailer for Race Across The World season 3?

Yes, you can see how the teams get on below... 

Race Across The World season 3 — meet the contestants

Ladi and Monique — father and daughter 

Monique with her dad Ladi in Race Across The World series 3.

Monique with her dad Ladi in Race Across The World series 3.  (Image credit: BBC)

Monique, 25, who is travelling with her dad, Ladi, 52, knows she will be pushed way out of her comfort zone. The event manager confesses "I don’t actually travel, I’ve never owned a backpack, I don’t do the whole camping thing, that’s not me but I want to be able to experience countries in a way I never would unless it was a show like this."

Ladi says, "I know we’re going to have an absolute ball. She is my Princess and I will protect her through hell and high water. We are close as father and daughter and I think this will cement our relationship even further."

Monique has been preparing for the trip and says, "I got my hair braided because it’s practical, I got acrylics because I like getting my nails done and I’ve tried to brush up on my French but that didn’t go so well."

When it comes to being without a bank card or mobile phone Ladi’s not worried. He says, "I’m old school so I’m used to cash. My life is busy and 24/7, I need a break away from everything where no one can contact me!"

Tricia and Cathie — best friends 

Tricia and Cathie in Race Across The World Series 3

Tricia (left) and Cathie  (Image credit: BBC)

Company director Cathie, 49 and bank clerk Tricia, 48, have been best mates since they met at school aged 13 and say they’ve always loved doing ‘bonkers’ things together. "I wouldn’t want to do this with anybody else", says Tricia. "Cathie is the tonic to my gin." Cathie adds, "When we were young she was always getting me to do mad things I would never have thought of doing on my own!"

Tricia has sight loss and says, "For me it’s to prove to myself that I can still do it. I’m not ‘sight loss Tricia’, I’m ‘Tricia with sight loss.’ It’s about getting some of my confidence back."

When it comes to strategy Cathie says, "We’re both cheeky enough to just go up to people and ask for help. The Canadians are friendly so we certainly won’t be afraid of doing that."

Cathie has packed a special item in her rucksack. "I’ve got my St Christopher that my husband Gareth gave me. His mum gave it to him when he was quite young to protect him when he went backpacking around the world so I’ve got that and that’s very special to me."

Marc and Michael  — brothers 

Marc (left) and his younger brother Michael in Race Across The World series 3.

Marc (left) and his younger brother Michael in Race Across The World series 3. (Image credit: BBC)

Michael, 34, and his older brother Marc, 36, are hoping the adventure will bring them closer.  Michael, a manager in children’s services, says, "I really want to take part with Marc because we’ll get the opportunity to build a better relationship." Marc adds, "I think we’ve got a lot we need to sort out to be honest. There’s a lot we don’t know about each other!"

However Marc is worried he’ll find the reality extremely testing.  "Limited budget, tiredness, hunger and no coffee, it will be hard" he says, "Lack of food and sleep are quite a big challenge for me and we’ve both agreed it’s going to be tough."

When plotting their route Michael says, "We want to stay country-based and avoid cities because then we get to see things we wouldn’t ordinarily see and it might also be cheaper."

Marc, who’s packed a pair of lucky Batman socks that he saves for interviews and going on dates, adds, "It’s a chance for us to go off-road and see things we wouldn’t see in a catalogue or on Google!"

Mobeen and Zainib — married couple 

Married couple Zainib and Mobeen in Race Across The World series 3.

Married couple Zainib and Mobeen in Race Across The World.  (Image credit: BBC)

The married couple who live in Manchester say their goal was to inject more excitement into their lives. Glaswegian Zainib, 32, who works as a psychiatrist, says, "We need that sense of adventure. We’ve slipped into this life of nine to five, coming home, and watching TV. We’re in our early 30s but we are living like we’re in our 80s!"

Her husband Mobeen, 31, an orthopaedic surgeon says, "Our strategy is making sure we work as a team and to appreciate each other’s qualities because we both bring different things to the table."

 Zainib has been swotting up ahead of the race and says she’s watched the first two series of Race Across The World multiple times. "I’ve taken notes and I’ve also been on backpacking blogs and read through tips and tricks of how to survive out in the wilderness."

Mobeen adds, "I’ve packed a lot of compression boxers because I may have a bit of a chafing problem if I’m expected to be somewhere hot and sweaty!"

Claudia and Kevin — father and daughter 

Claudia and her dad Kevin in Race Across The World series 3.

Claudia and her dad Kevin in Race Across The World series 3.  (Image credit: BBC)

The daughter and dad duo from Southampton say they don’t have a winning plan and are both natural procrastinators. "I’d love to say we’ve thought that far ahead" says Kevin, 53, "But I think we’re literally just winging it, seeing what’s right at the time and deciding between the two of us."

Claudia, 27, adds, "Dad and I bring out the best and the worst in each other. Our ideas of key things to pack are very different! He’s already questioned my choices of shampoo and conditioner. He’s just packed a bar of soap. He drives me crazy but we have a similar passion for adventure."

Kevin agrees saying, "I think it’s the unknown that makes us tick. How many parents do I know that have ever travelled with their children? I don’t think there are many out there. I’m actually looking forward to having all the luxuries of daily life taken away, it’ll be like going back to the past."

Where did series one and series two of Race Across The World take place? 

Series one saw the teams race from London to Singapore. 

Series two saw the teams race from Mexico City to Argentina.

Race Across the World series three starts on Wednesday, March 22 at 9 pm on BBC One and iPlayer.

Series 1 and 2 are available to watch on iPlayer now. 

Tess Lamacraft
Senior Writer for What's On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite week, Whattowatch.com

Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and WhattoWatch.com She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.