The Amazing Race 1

The Amazing Race 1 (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Amazing Race (now referred to as The Amazing Race 1) was the first installment of the reality television show The Amazing Race. It was broadcast for the first time on September 5, 2001, and ended on December 13, 2001, on American television.

Lawyers and best friends Rob Frisbee and Brennan Swain were the winners of the inaugural Race.

The complete season set, featuring commentary from four of the teams, was released on DVD in September 2005.


Development and filming

The first season of The Amazing Race traveled miles in 39 days, spanning 4 continents and 9 different countries. The season was hit with multiple filming delays, including an airport strike in Rome and a sandstorm in Tunisia, the latter of which forced teams to begin leg 6 in Gabès, rather than the original Saharan desert Pit Stop.

Other aspects of filming were unique to the first season of the series. Host Phil Keoghan handed out clues at the beginning of some legs and only greeted the last-place team at each Pit Stop; all other teams were greeted and informed of their placements by local representatives. Each leg's Pit Stop mat featured a localized design; subsequent seasons have used a single mat design throughout the entire race.

During Leg 5, Paul and Amie got lost in the Sahara desert after trying numerous routes; they found the desert oasis Pit Stop by luck, unknowingly skipping the roadblock and final route marker.

Amazing Race courses are planned so that the final three teams will all reach the finish line. However, Joe and Bill were so far behind that they could not catch up and did not finish the race. When they were still completing Leg 12 (which aired alongside Leg 13 in final episode), Team Guido was required to have villagers bounce one teammate upwards by the use of an Alaskan tapestry. According to the DVD commentary, the tapestry broke under the weight the day before, so a trampoline had to be used instead.


Eleven teams participated in the first season of The Amazing Race, ranging from best friends to couples, and a mother and daughter duo. Kevin and Drew made an appearance in Season 8, handing out clues from a hot dog stand in New York City. They also returned, along with Joe and Bill, to participate in the All-Stars edition among a cast of returning teams from seasons 1-10.

Margaretta Groark died on October 26, 2008, after a long battle with cancer, at the age of 67.

Nancy Hoyt died on December 8, 2011, after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, at the age of 56.


Season 1 was not particularly a ratings success, though it was co-directed by Michael Bay. The series premiered six days prior to the September 11 attacks, after which interest in foreign travel waned and viewership fell correspondingly. The show was further hindered by the lack of media coverage and promotion as networks focused on news stories and more patriotic programming. Additionally, the show premiered and competed in the same time slot as with NBC's short-lived Lost, another reality show with a similar premise. The show did just well enough to earn a second season, which aired the following spring.


The following teams participated in the Race, each listed along with their placements in each leg and relationships as identified by the program. Note that this table is not necessarily reflective of all content broadcast on television due to inclusion or exclusion of some data. Placements are listed in finishing order:

Team Relationship Position (by leg) Roadblocks Performed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Rob & Brennan Lawyers/Best Friends 1st 3rd 3rd 6th 4th 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st Rob 5, Brennan 7
Frank & Margarita Separated Parents 3rd 4th 2nd 4th 5th 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd Frank 8, Margarita 3
Joe & Bill Life Partners 2nd 2nd 4th 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 4th 4th 3rd 3rd Joe 6, Bill 4
Kevin & Drew Fraternity Brothers 9th 5th 1st 2nd 1st 4th 4th 1st 3rd 3rd Kevin 5, Drew 4
Nancy & Emily Mother/Daughter 10th 7th 8th 3rd 3rd 5th 5th Nancy 2, Emily 6
Lenny & Karyn Dating 4th 9th 7th 7th 6th Lenny 2, Karyn 4
Paul & Amie Engaged 7th 6th 6th 4th Paul 2, Amie 1
Grandparents 8th 8th 5th Dave 2, Margaretta 0
Pat & Brenda Working Moms 5th 1st Pat 1, Brenda 0
Kim & Leslie 6th Kim 1, Leslie 0
Matt & Ana Married Matt 0, Ana 0
  • A team placement indicates that the team was eliminated.
  • An team placement indicates that the team was the last to arrive at a Pit Stop in a non-elimination leg of the race.
  • A indicates that the team won a Fast Forward clue. If placed next to a leg number, this indicates that the Fast Forward was available for that leg but not used.

  1. ^ Leg 1 featured an un-aired Roadblock that was only partially shown in the DVD release. This is not included in the final Roadblock tallies.
  2. ^ Dave & Margaretta initially were checked in at the Pit Stop in 7th, but they were retroactively penalized for not completing the Detour correctly. They served their penalty before the start of the next leg, dropping them to 8th to depart.
  3. ^ Dave & Margaretta initially were checked in at the Pit Stop in 6th, but they were retroactively penalized for not completing the Roadblock correctly. This Roadblock is not included in their Roadblock count because neither Dave nor Margaretta completed it properly. They served their penalty before the start of the next leg, dropping them to 8th to depart.
  4. ^ Paul & Amie initially arrived 5th, but were given a time credit because of a production difficulty, pushing them up to 4th.
  5. ^ Paul & Amie arrived at the pit stop by chance after getting lost and unknowingly skipping the Roadblock. However, since they were already in last place, they were eliminated without being assessed the 4-hour penalty.
  6. ^Template:Note labelTemplate:Note label Frank & Margarita and Joe & Bill initially arrived 1st and 2nd, respectively, but were each issued a 30-minute penalty for failing to follow a clue correctly. The penalty did not affect their placements.
  7. ^ Lenny & Karyn were granted a time credit for production difficulties. This did not affect their placement.
  8. ^ Nancy & Emily initially arrived 4th, but were issued a 24-hour penalty for failing to complete either Detour option. Joe & Bill checked in during Nancy & Emily's penalty time, causing them to fall to last place and be eliminated.
  9. ^ Joe & Bill had fallen so far behind that they were unable to complete the final leg. When Joe & Bill departed from Takosha Lodge in Alaska and reached the first route marker, they were informed that the race was over.

Episode titles

The episode titles are:

  1. The Race Begins
  2. Divide And Conquer
  3. Home For Some
  4. Colossal Showdown
  5. Desert Storm
  6. Whatever It Takes To Win
  7. Triumph And Loss
  8. Competition To The Fullest
  9. The Unexpected Twist
  10. To The Physical And Mental Limit
  11. Fight To The Last Minute
  12. Race To The Finish - Part 1
  13. Race To The Finish - Part 2

Race summary

Leg 1 (United States "?"? South Africa "?"? Zambia)

Airdate: September 5, 2001

  • New York City, New York, United States (Central Park " Bethesda Fountain) (Starting Point)
  • New York City (John F. Kennedy International Airport) to Johannesburg, South Africa (Johannesburg International Airport)
  • Johannesburg (Lanseria Airport) to Livingstone, Zambia (Livingstone Airport)
  • Livingstone (Victoria Falls - Knife's Edge)
  • Livingstone (Batoka Gorge)
  • Songwe Village
In the first Fast Forward of the race, teams had to hike down a steep slope to the Boiling Pot on the Zambezi River. In the very first Detour for the entire series had teams choosing between Air and Land. In Air, teams had to take a zipline across the gorge and then experience a 54-meter gorge swing. In Land, teams had to take a long hike down the mountains. An unaired Roadblock (available as a bonus feature on the DVD set) required one team member to cook an ostrich egg, after which both team members were required to eat it.

Leg 2 (Zambia "?"? France)

Airdate: September 19, 2001

  • Songwe Village (Songwe Museum)
    • Livingstone (Bundu Adventures)
  • Livingstone (Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park) or Chobe National Park, Botswana
  • Mukuni Village
  • Johannesburg, South Africa (Johannesburg International Airport) to Paris, France (Charles de Gaulle International Airport)
  • Paris (Eiffel Tower)
  • Paris (Arc de Triomphe)
In this leg's Fast Forward, one team member had to whitewater raft along the treacherous rapids of the Zambezi River with Bundu Adventures. They then had to locate the Fast Forward clue. In this leg's Detour, teams chose between Near and Far. In Near, teams went to Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park to photograph three hard to find animals from a list. In Far, teams had to go to Chobe National Park to photograph a single elephant. In the first aired Roadblock of the series, one team member had to take the stairway at the second level of the Eiffel Tower and use a "?10 coin to operate a telescope. The teammate had to search the Parisian skyline using the telescope to spot the team's next destination, marked with a Race flag.

Additional task
  • At Mukuni village, Teams take part in a traditional welcome ceremony for honored guests. The ceremony involved meeting the village chief (who would spit on them) as well as viewing and participating a tribal dance. Teams then gave the village chief the photographs they took during the Detour, and in return received a miniature of the Eiffel Tower as the only clue to their next destination.

Leg 3 (France)

Airdate: September 26, 2001

  • Paris (Roue de Paris)
    • Paris (Mariage Frères)
  • Paris (Notre Dame de Paris or Panthéon)
  • Paris (Hôtel de Ville)
  • Paris (Place du Châtelet)
  • Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Avignon (Gare d'Avignon Centre)/Marseille (Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles)
  • Les Baux de Provence (Château des Baux)
In this leg's Detour, teams chose between Tough Climb and Easy Walk. In Tough Climb, teams must travel to Notre Dame de Paris and had to climb up the 297 steps of the cathedral and ring Quasimodo's bell. In Easy Walk, teams had to find a statue of a cat sitting beside a Foucault pendulum. Teams were not told that there are two Foucault pendulums in Paris; only the one at the Panthéon is next to such a statue (the other is located at the Museum of Arts and Crafts). In this leg's Fast Forward, teams had to find an obscure tea shop called Mariage Frères and ask for a specific tea. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to walk through the sewers of Paris to the Place du Châtelet, two blocks away.

Additional task
  • At the Hôtel de Ville, teams must find a man dressed in blue suit standing across from it.

Leg 4 (France "?"? Tunisia)

Airdate: October 3, 2001

  • Marseille (Marseille Ferry Port ) to Tunis, Tunisia (La Goulette)
    • Sidi Bou Said
  • Tunis (Bab Bhar )
  • El Djem (Amphitheater of Thysdrus)
In this leg's Detour, teams chose between Full Body Brew and Full Body Massage. In Full Body Brew, teams had to find a coffee shop in Bab Bhar marketplace using only a picture for reference. In Full Body Massage, teams, with the help of a map, had to find a massage parlor and sit through a 20 minute massage. The unused Fast Forward told teams to go fishing for it on board the Kinsa in the port of Sidi Bou Said. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to navigate the amphitheater and light a torch to find the pit of death. Then, they had to take a sword dangling above the pit and bring it to the Pit Stop.

Additional tasks
  • At the beginning of the leg, teams received an small, unidentified flag of Tunisia and instructions to travel by boat from Marseille to the country represented by the flag. They also received a picture of the man they had to find when they arrived at their destination.
  • After the detour, teams received a lighter marked with a picture of the Amphitheater of Thysdrus in El Djem and the words "Go Here".

Leg 5 (Tunisia)

Airdate: October 10, 2001

  • Tataouine (Globe monument)
  • Ksar Ouled Soltane or Ksar Hadada
  • Sahara (Ksar Ghilane )
  • Sahara (Compass Coordinates)
  • Sahara (Ksar Ghilane)
In this leg's Detour, teams had to choice between Listening and Puzzling. In Puzzling, teams had to solve a Tunisian dice game at Ksar Ouled Soltane. In Listening, teams had to find Ksar Hadada. They then had to use a supplied walkie talkie to find another one hidden somewhere in the labyrinth of caves. The Fast Forward was to use a map that had an arrow pointing to a location to find a cave and take a picture of something inside. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member rode a camel led by the other team member across the Sahara Desert. They had to use a compass to guide them through a set of directions to find a route marker in the middle of the desert.

Additional task
  • At the start of the leg, teams received a picture of a Globe monument and instructions to find Tataouine.

Leg 6 (Tunisia "?"? Italy)

Airdate: October 17, 2001

  • Gabès to Tunis (Palace Hotel)
  • Tunis (Tunis-Carthage International Airport) to Rome, Italy (Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport)
  • Rome (Colosseum)
    • Vatican City
  • Rome (Palazzo dei Conservatori or Altare della Patria)
  • Rome (Roma Termini railway station) to Modena, Emilia-Romagna (Train station)
  • Modena (Castelfranco Emilia)
  • Modena (Pagani Auto Factory)
  • Sant'Agata Bolognese, Province of Bologna (Town Square)
During the Pit Stop, word of sandstorm in Sahara forced the teams to move to Gabès to start the leg. In this leg's Detour, teams had to choose between Foot and Hoof. In Foot, teams had to find a large statue of a foot at Palazzo dei Conservatori. The foot statue was well-known, and the picture teams received contained the entire statue. In Hoof, teams were given a partial picture of another statue that is not as well known. The statue was a horse at Altare della Patria, but teams only received a picture of its hoof. However, if teams completed Hoof instead of Foot, they would find taxis waiting for them. In this leg's unused Fast Forward, teams were instructed to find "the keys to the arms of St. Peter" in Vatican City. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to drive a small Italian car to the town square of Sant'Agata Bolognese, the leg's Pit Stop, using a map written entirely in Italian. The other team member received a free ride in a sports car traveling at 180 miles/per hour.

Additional task
  • At the Palace Hotel in Tunis, teams received a picture of a spot marked near the Colosseum.

Leg 7 (Italy "?"? India)

Airdate: October 24, 2001

  • Ferrara (Aeroclub Volovelistico Ferrarese or Bike Shop)
    • Ferrara (Castello Estense)
  • Ferrara (Train Station) to Rome (Roma Termini railway station)/Milan (Milano Centrale railway station)
  • Rome (Leonardo da Vinci International Airport)/Milan (Malpensa International Airport) to Delhi, India (Indira Gandhi International Airport)
  • Delhi (Red Fort - Chandni Chowk)
  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh (Taj Khema Hotel)
In this leg's Detour, teams chose between Glide and Ride. In Glide, teams took a glider ride with a professional glider. One team member rode in the gilder while the other rode in the towing plane and was also treated to a surprise nose-dive. In Ride, teams had to ride bikes and follow a street map to find the clue box. In this leg's Fast Forward, one team had to find Castello Estense and ride a boat through its moat to find a clue hidden in the wall. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to hire a rickshaw and find a shopkeeper in the Red Fort Market. The shopkeeper would show the team member a blue box containing a replica of the Taj Mahal. However, the clue he gave them merely told the teams to find the Taj Khema Hotel (which is located near the Taj Mahal).

Leg 8 (India)

Airdate: October 31, 2001

  • Agra (Taj Mahal)
    • Agra (Jantar Mantar
  • Jaipur, Rajasthan (Palace of the Winds)
  • Jaipur (Amber Fort or Jal Mahal)
  • Jaipur to Bikaner
  • Deshnoke (Karni Mata)
  • Bikaner (Laxmi Niwas Palace)
There was an unused Fast Forward that had teams traveling to Jantar Mantar to climb 22 or 33 steps. In this leg's Detour, teams chose between Elephant and Rowboat. In Elephant, teams had to find a holy man inside the Amber Fort. They could reach him by riding an elephant up a steep path. In Rowboat, teams had to find a holy man at the Jal Mahal palace by using a row boat to get to him. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member to find a canister of clues somewhere in the labyrinth of Karni Mata Temple, a temple devoted to the worship of rats, which are sacred to locals and free to roam around.

Leg 9 (India "?"? Thailand)

Airdate: November 14, 2001

  • or Bikaner to South West Delhi (Bus Station)/New Delhi (New Delhi Railway Station)
  • Delhi (Indira Gandhi International Airport) to Bangkok, Thailand (Don Mueang International Airport)
    • Bangkok (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
  • Bangkok (Temple of Dawn)
  • Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi Province (Buddhist Monastery)
  • Krabi City, Krabi (Tiger Cave Temple)
For the leg's Fast Forward, teams had to go to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Teams were then required to play a traditional Buddhist Game that utilized the 108 urns alongside the giant reclining Buddha. They had to choose a bowl of coins and attempt to drop exactly one coin in every urn. If the bowl they choose did not contain exactly 108 coins, they had to choose another bowl to play the game again. The first team to complete this task would win the Fast Forward. In the Detour, teams had to choose between Public and Private. For both Detours, teams had to find transportation to Kanchanaburi. In Public, teams had to go to a local bus station and board a bus leaving every 15 minutes, using their own money. In Private, teams had to find a free private vehicle within a specified area with a license plate number as the only means of identification. In the Roadblock, one team member had to dress like a Monk and walk through a pit of tigers to retrieve the clue.

Leg 10 (Thailand)

Airdate: November 21, 2001

  • Railay Beach (King's Climbing)
  • Railay Beach (Thaiwand Wall)
  • Bo Tor, Ao Luk (Sea, Land and Trek)
  • Chicken Island
  • Pai Plong Beach
In this leg's Detour, teams chose between Hike and Climb. In Hike, teams had to travel on a long path to find their next clue. In Climb, teams had to rock climb up Thaiwand Wall to find their next clue. After either Detour option, teams then rappelled down into a boat. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to paddle a kayak with their team member and their luggage down a river in search of a route flag. Once the flag was spotted, the team member would climb into a nearby cave at Tham Hua Kalok to get the next clue along with snorkeling gear.

Additional task
  • After the Roadblock, either team member could paddle back to Sea, Land and Trek. Then, teams had to hire a boat and find a route marker bobbing in the water from the mainland. Once they found the route marker near Chicken Island, they had to put on the snorkel gear they collected at the Roadblock and dive in the water to get their next clue.

Leg 11 (Thailand "?"? China)

Airdate: November 28, 2001

  • Phuket (Phuket International Airport) to Beijing, China (Beijing Capital International Airport)
  • Beijing (Jingshan Park, Top Pavilion)
  • Beijing (Hongqiao Market)
  • Beijing (Donghuamen Night Market - Stall # 57)
  • Beijing (Tiantan Park, Temple of Heaven Park South Gate)
This leg's detour had teams choosing between Volley and Rally. In Volley, teams had to score five points in a game of ping pong against a local champion at a nearby community center. In Rally, teams took three common forms of local transportation used throughout China. First, teams had travel by Bus to Hu Jia Lou. Next, teams had to ride a motorcycle taxi to Liu Jia Yao. Finally, teams had to a ride a Chinese Bicycle Taxi to Quan Xin Yuan Restaurant. When they get there successfully, teams would get their next clue. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to eat the food bought at the Beijing Food Market (see additional task below).

Additional tasks
  • At the Hongqiao Market, teams had to find and translate a shopping list written in Mandarin Chinese, and then buy the Chinese delicacy items (five beetle larvae, one squid, and two chicken feet) listed.

Leg 12 (China "?"? United States)

Airdate: December 5, 2001

  • Beijing (Tiantan Park)
  • Great Wall of China (J?y?ng Pass)
  • Beijing (Beijing Capital International Airport) to Anchorage, Alaska, USA (Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport)
  • Scotty Lake (North Country Bed and Breakfast)
  • Scotty Lake (Blanket Toss Area)
  • Matanuska Glacier
  • near Denali State Park (Highway Mile Marker 131)
  • Wilderness Cabin
In this leg's Detour, teams chose between Flat and Steep. Both tasks had teams walking along the Great Wall of China to find their clue. In Flat, the path to the clue would be long, but steady, while the path in Steep was much shorter, but extremely steep. In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to climb an ice wall and retrieve information from the glacier.

Additional tasks
  • At the Tiantan Park, teams had to use a marked map and find kite flyers who were flying kites that had their next clue.
  • After spending the night at the Bed and Breakfast in Scotty Lake, one team member had bounce on an Alaskan tapestry until they spotted the next route marker. Once at the Route Marker, teams would get their next clue.
  • At Mile Marker 131 along Parks Highway in Denali State Park, teams had to leave their vehicles behind and ride a snowmobile to the Pit Stop.

Leg 13 (United States)

Airdate: December 13, 2001

  • Takosha Lodge
  • Talkeetna (Fish Lake)
  • Anchorage (Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport) to Newark, New Jersey (Newark International Airport)
  • Queens, New York City, New York (Vincent Daniels Square)
  • New York City (Flushing Meadows Park-Unisphere)
In the final Detour, teams chose between Dog Power and Horsepower. In Dog Power, teams rode dog sleds to their next clue. In Horsepower, teams used much faster snowmobiles to ride to the next clue. In the final Roadblock, one team member had to strip down to their underwear or a bathing suit and plunge into the freezing waters of Fish Lake, completely submerge their heads, and then swim to their next clue.


USA ratings

Order Episode Rating/Share
1 "The Race Begins" 5.1 11.80
6 "Whatever It Takes to Win" 3.6/9 8.37
7 "Triumph and Loss" 4.0/10 9.17
13 "Race To The Finish - Part 2" 6.0 13.65 #20

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Amazing Race 1". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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