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Herculean Effort for Some Herculean Dudes is the seventh episode of The Amazing Race 9.


Teams participate in a special "Da Vinci Code"-themed challenge in which teams are given a portion of Da Vinci's famed "Vitruvian Man" and must find the other half in order to solve the clue.

While Racing through Greece, teams return to ancient times and compete in Olympic games that include a grueling bout in the mud with a Greek wrestler. During a roadblock, teams face a 240-foot bungee jump off the Corinth Canal bridge and one racer becomes paralyzed with fear. Several teams make a crucial mistake when they fail to follow the clue's directions correctly. Meanwhile, a lack of focus and confusion plagues several teams who get lost while driving, and their frustration fuels an emotional breakdown for one team.[2]


Route Markers[]

The order of departure from Fonte Aretusa are as follows:

  1. Eric & Jeremy (10:33 pm)
  2. BJ & Tyler (10:38 pm)
  3. Joseph & Monica (11:40 pm)
  4. Fran & Barry (11:53 pm)
  5. Lake & Michelle (12:17 am)
  6. Ray & Yolanda (1:02 am)

Teams must travel by train and ferry to Rome. Once in Rome, teams must find the Trevi Fountain and search for a man on a red and yellow scooter. The man would hand them their next clue and a manila envelope containing half of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.

Teams must make their way on foot to the Spanish Steps and find horse carriages and portfolios. Inside the portfolio, teams would find the other half of the Vitruvian Man drawing, as well as their next clue. Teams were also told that the first team to bring the entire drawing to the Pit Stop would win a prize.

Teams must fly to Athens, Greece. Upon arrival, teams must find the Ancient Agora, where they would find their next clue.

Teams must travel by train from the Ancient Agora Railway Station and alight at the Isthmos Railway Station in Corinth. At the Isthmos Railway Station, teams would find their next clue.

The Fast Forward instructions were given to teams after finding their clue at the Ancient Agora. Teams must make their way on foot less than a mile to Stamatopoulos Taverna and take part in a traditional Greek method of dispelling mischievous spirits, plate breaking. Teams must break plates and find a little yellow and red flag that was baked into only one of hundreds of plate. Once the team found the flag, they would win the Fast Forward. Eric & Jeremy won the Fast Forward.

"Who wants to hear the sound of their own screams?"

The team member assigned to perform this Roadblock must bungee jump 240 feet (73 m) into the Corinth Canal. Once they have complete the jump, they would receive their next clue from the bungee master.

The Roadblock performers per team are underlined:

Choice A: Herculean Effort
Teams must drive themselves to the ancient stadium in Nemea, where they would compete in three events from the Ancient Olympic Games. One team member would compete in the discus throw, while the other would compete in the javelin throw. Finally, both team members would have to participate in Greco-Roman wrestling and must successfully push their opponent out of a 20-foot circle. When all events are completed, they would receive their next clue.

BJ & Tyler, Joseph & Monica, and Ray & Yolanda chose this task.

Choice B: It's All Greek To Me
Teams must drive themselves to the ancient stadium in Nemea, where they would enter an archaeological site and search a specific section for nine pieces of pottery containing Greek letters. They must then ask the nearby bystanders for help in translating the letters from Greek to English and unscramble them to order the spell a location on a provided Greek map, Dimitsana, to receive their next clue.

Fran & Barry and Lake & Michelle chose this task.

Teams must drive themselves to the town of Rio and find the Fortress of Rion to check in. For being the first team to bring the complete Vitruvian Man drawing, Eric & Jeremy won a trip to the movie premiere of The Da Vinci Code in Hollywood, California.


     First Place •      Eliminated     Last placer on a Non-Elimination Leg or continue racing on a No-Rest Leg     Season winner •      Season 2nd place •      Season 3rd place • Used the Fast Forward> Used the Yield< Recipient of the Yield
Eric & Jeremy
 1st place 
Eric & Jeremy
Joseph & Monica
 2nd place 
Joseph & Monica
Ray & Yolanda
 3rd place 
Ray & Yolanda
Fran & Barry
 4th place 
Fran & Barry
Married 40 Years
BJ & Tyler
 5th place 
BJ & Tyler
Best Friends
Lake & Michelle
 6th place 
Lake & Michelle
Married Parents



  • Josh Wolk at EW (04/12/2006): "Product placement overload"


The Amazing Race 9 Episodes

"Here We Go, Baby, Off to Win a Million Bucks!" · "I'm Filthy and I Love It" · "I'm in Russia Playing with Dolls" · "It's Not Over Until the Phil Sings" · "Good Thing I Took That Human Anatomy Class in High School" · "Sleep Deprivation Is Really Starting to Irritate Me" · "Herculean Effort for Some Herculean Dudes" · "Here Comes the Bedouin!" · "Do You Know How Much Running I Did Today, Phil?" · "Man, They Should Have Used Their Fake Names" · "I Think This Monkey Likes Me" · "5 Continents, 9 Countries, More Than 59,000 Miles"