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LI 'death racer' will compete on Kevin Hart-hosted 'TKO: Total Knock Out'

Manhasset's Stefanie Bishop is a contestant on Friday's episode of CBS' "TKO: Total Knockout."   / CBS/Monty Brinton

Manhasset's Stefanie Bishop, who competes Friday on the CBS obstacle-course series "TKO: Total Knock Out" (8 p.m. on Ch. 2) gives her profession as "death racer" in the network's news release about the episode. That's a real thing, she says, but not really a profession.

"There is no money in death racing," Bishop, 35, tells Newsday, referring to the ultra-endurance Peak Death Race series — one of many endurance and obstacle-course races in which she participates each year, including the World's Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour obstacle race in mud, for which she was crowned women's champion in 2016. But death racing, as it happens, did lead to a job.

A 2000 graduate of the Portledge School in Locust Valley, who went on to a degree in financial economics at Binghamton University, the Manhasset born-and-bred Bishop "worked in the nightclub industry after college," doing marketing and event-planning for Crobar, in Manhattan. She then returned to school and had just earned her second degree, in interior design, from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology when she won the female division of the summer 2010 Death Race. After that, "One the guys that started Death Race offered me a Wall Street job two months after I won." 

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The daughter of electrical engineer turned real-estate broker Robert and homemaker Helene, Bishop left that brokerage job to concentrate on racing and on coaching and training others. "I technically still am on Wall Street, part time for a small brokerage" as an executive assistant. "It allows a lot of flexibility for my schedule and gives me a small salary so I know I always have that coming in." She already has racing trips planned for Scotland and Croatia in the fall, and just returned from a weekend in California serving as a guide for the adventure-camping company Outbound Collective.

And while the Kevin Hart-hosted "TKO: Total Knock Out," which she taped in May, might have been just one more race, it proved "so much fun I would do it again," she says, adding of the show's obstacle course, "If I could somehow find a way to recreate it privately I would!"

In the one-hour series, a player races through obstacles while four other contestants at battle stations along the course fire projectiles in an attempt to knock them off and slow them down. The fastest finisher wins $50,000. Bishop competes against an aspiring comic, a professional bull rider, a professor, and a soccer pro / physical education teacher.