The Cambrian

‘Wipeout’ leaves her $50K richer

Debbie Markham, left, celebrates on the ‘Wipeout’ set.
Debbie Markham, left, celebrates on the ‘Wipeout’ set. PHOTOS BY JEFF SAMARIPA

Debbie Markham, a Cambria mom/photographer/ triathlete, wiped out her opponents on the ABC obstacle-course show “Wipeout,” and took home the $50,000 prize. The physically brutal, sucker-punch competition, which aired June 24, was taped last fall.

A couple of obstacles and gloppy mud-dunks almost decked Markham’s victory, but she battled back in a fast-footed, skillful dash through the multi- stage “Wipeout” round.

The slender brunette in rainbow shorts— nicknamed “Sugar Mama” on the show because of her professed addiction to sweets — said later that her most strenuous hurdle was a revolving red bar designed to trip contestants, and the scariest was “jumping off the treadmill, not knowing what I’d land


She said the swinging arms, balls and “meteors” she tried to dodge were “more annoying, jolting and distracting than painful.”

At one point, crew members standing above the scurrying competitors tossed luggage and boxes at their heads, trying to knock them off a slippery, sloped turntable. The projectiles (and the contestants) often wound up in the water below.

Markham said the body clonks startled her, threw her backwards and jerked her head, but didn’t hurt. The containers “were filled with towels or cardboard, so after the first round, they were soaking wet and heavier.”

She said what really hurt was the “ending leap to the circle platform. I really impaled my stomach and ribs,” but there were no lasting after ef fects. Later, “odd muscles hurt throughout my body, (muscles) that I rarely use but had to ‘engage’ to hold on…everything was so slippery and slick!”

Markham wants to buy a car with the $30,000 to $35,000 she expects to receive, after taxes.

A downloadable, printable version of Markham’s latest adventure, her new, self-published book, “Got Sugar? Philosophy of a Sweet Tooth, Lifestyle Tips, Recipes and Fitness Plans,” can be downloaded from her website,$11.95).

Markham also expects it to be available soon on Kindle) and iTunes (for iPads).

Show winners don’t continue on to following shows, but “Wipeout” will continue airing on Tuesday and Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC through July 8, then once weekly.