Race to the Finish (Part 1) is the penultimate episode of The Amazing Race 1.
Prior to their departure, Frank argues with Margarita over calling a cab rather than hailing a cab, thinking it would be better to get one in the city. At 11:14 pm, Frank & Margarita depart from Temple of Heaven Park and receive their next clue. Their clue informs them to head to an "X" marked on a map of Tiantan Park provided, and find one of three kite flyers with a clue attached to their kite. They learn that the park does not open until 6:00 am.
- “As I feel, and I felt since the beginning, that if we work together as a team, and we communicate, I think we can win this thing, but if we don't, I know that we will just totally spin out of control and crash.”— Frank
The separated couple head towards the streets. Margarita tells Frank to decide whether to head to the park now or find a hotel to rest for a few more hours.
At 11:25 pm, Rob & Brennan depart and receive their next clue. They decide to find a place to rest until 6 in the morning.
- “Right from the beginning, the main goal that Rob and I had was to finish the race. Now, it's time to focus on the victory. We know we're going to see it all. We're both competitive, we don't want to finish in second place. We want to try and win this thing.”— Brennan
Rob & Brennan find a cab that they had already called for and head to Tiantan Hotel. At the hotel, they find that Frank & Margarita have arrived as well. They greet the couple, but they are given the cold shoulder. Both teams turn in for the night.
At a quarter to 5, Rob & Brennan leave for Tiantan Park. At 5:15 am, Frank & Margarita leave. Rob & Brennan arrive first and wait on the side of the gate until it opens. At 5:55 am, Frank & Margarita arrive at the park, where a guard allows them to enter five minutes early. Rob & Brennan enter the park as local traffic enters. Both teams begin to search for the kites.
Frank & Margarita spot the kite flyers and get one to bring his kite down. Rob & Brennan spot the kite flyers as well and begin to run over. Margarita grabs the clue, informing teams to head to the lower level of Jūyōng Pass at the Great Wall of China to find their next clue. Teams are only permitted to travel by public bus, not tourist bus. The couple heads out to find a bus to Jūyōng Pass.
Rob & Brennan realize that they are in the wrong section of the park, and begin to look for where the kites are.
Frank & Margarita get a taxi driver to take them to a bus stop for the 919 bus.
Rob & Brennan find the correct kite and learn to head to Jūyōng Pass by bus.
Frank & Margarita arrive at the bus stop. They board the bus and are en route to Jūyōng Pass.
Rob & Brennan argue with their taxi driver, who wants to taxi them to Jūyōng Pass himself. They inform him to only take them to a bus stop. He complies, and the two quickly find themselves at a bus stop for Jūyōng Pass.
Frank & Margarita arrive at Jūyōng Pass and begin to look through the lower level for their clue. The hop a fence thinking that access to the lower level is that way.
With help from a local, the lawyers get on a bus to Jūyōng Pass. They hope that Frank & Margarita are behind or ahead of them by 10–15 minutes. In a few minutes, they arrive at Jūyōng Pass.
Margarita begins to worry that they went the wrong way, as she notices some flags near what appears to be an entrance.
Rob & Brennan find the correct entrance with the help of some locals. They open their next clue, revealing it to be a Detour. Their choices are Flat or Steep. Both options require the teams to walk across the Great Wall of China. In Flat, must walk through a flat marked path to a pavilion to get their next clue. This path to this pavilion is on a flatter terrain, but much longer. In Steep, teams will have to proceed to a different pavilion through a very steep pathway. The path to this pavilion is on a steeper terrain, but much shorter. Rob & Brennan decide on Steep, and head to the nearby Detour choice.
Meanwhile, Frank & Margarita turn back to where they hopped the fence to find the correct entrance.
Rob & Brennan start the Detour by first stretching. The lawyers get to the clue rather easily, where they are told to fly to Anchorage, Alaska, and then take a two-hour ride to North Country Bed and Breakfast at Scotty Lake to get their next clue. The two are excited to return stateside, and they head back down. They look in the clue box to see that Frank & Margarita have not arrived yet. They get a taxi driver and head to Beijing Capital International Airport.
Frank & Margarita find the correct entrance. Frank grabs a clue from the clue box, as Margarita begins to yell for him to stop. She tells Frank that she wants to get a cab so that she can put her bags down for a bit. Frank, however, wants them to figure out the Detour first.
On the ride to the airport, Rob tells Brennan how his adrenaline is pumping, being so close to victory.
Frank & Margarita have decided to do Steep. Frank tells Margarita to get the taxi, however, she goes back on this and decides to do the Detour first.
In their cab, Rob & Brennan complain about their slow driver, as they want him to get to the airport as soon as possible so that they can get on a flight before Frank & Margarita.
Back at Jūyōng Pass, Frank & Margarita try to figure out where they need to go for the Steep Detour. They pass a sign directing which way each side of the Detour is located. Margarita mentions to Frank that they might be going to the Flat Detour, and to take a look at the sign. Frank argues with her over the direction of the Detour. After much insisting from Margarita, Frank decides to check the sign. As he goes, Margarita wonders what is with his attitude.
Frank returns and tells her angrily that they were heading in the right direction. The head up the steep steps, and eventually find their next clue. Heading back down, the tension is thick as they find a taxi to the airport.
Rob & Brennan arrive at the airport, but get into a fight over what they owe their cab driver.
In their cab, Margarita interrogates Frank. He replies that he wanted to question her decisions, thinking that some of them in previous legs may have gotten them eliminated. With Frank's anger curtailed, Margarita says that she saw an 11:40 into Los Angeles, but the chances of making it are very slim.
At the airport, Rob & Brennan have a snafu with their tickets, finding that one of the flights to Anchorage they are trying to get on only has business class available. They plead with the ticket attendant to bump some of the people in economy to business class.
Frank & Margarita arrive at the airport, where Margarita snaps at Frank to pay the cab driver the full amount.
The ticket attendant tells Rob & Brennan that she was able to bump a few people into business class, allowing them to travel in economy. Rob hopes that Frank & Margarita do not get onto the same flight as them.
At another ticket counter, Margarita wants to book a flight to Los Angeles, with the hopes of finding a better flight to Anchorage there, despite the only flight to Anchorage from Los Angeles being at 6:00 am in the next day. Frank tells Margarita to try to get them on the San Francisco flight, as there is a flight to Anchorage at 7:00 pm the same day. Margarita rebuts that there are no seats left on the flight. However, the ticket attendant informs them that there are only business class seats left, but he is able to cut them a deal, where they will purchase economy class tickets, but will be for business class seats. They decide to take the deal and head to San Francisco instead. Margarita tells Frank that they really need to pull themselves together and work as a team from now on.
As Rob & Brennan and Frank & Margarita are en route to Anchorage via San Francisco, Team Guido is still in China preparing for their release.
- “So Bill and I are ready to fight and really determined to try and pull this thing out, and I think it's entirely possible. The race isn't over yet, and anything could happen and everybody loves to see an underdog team to win.”— Joe
At 10:51 pm that night, Joe & Bill depart nearly 24 hours after Frank & Margarita and Rob & Brennan, and receive their next clue, informing them top find their clue from a kite in Tiantan Park.
Seven hours later, Team Guido arrive back at Tiantan Park and begin to look for the kite flyers.
- “We're just focused on the end. We're not taking anything for granted, all it takes is one or two mistakes by these two other teams.”— Joe
They find the kite flyers and receive their next clue from a kite. They immediately head to a bus stop to go to Jūyōng Pass.
Frank & Margarita and Rob & Brennan's flight has touched down at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington. Both teams have to wait for their flight to Anchorage, with both teams determined to beat the other.
Joe & Bill arrive at the Great Wall of China and get their clue for the Detour. They both decided to do the shorter distance Steep. They complete the task quickly, and they learn that they will be flying to Alaska.
In Anchorage, Frank & Margarita are the first team to depart from the airplane and race to the parking lot to find a marked 4x4 and inform the driver to take them to North Country Bed and Breakfast. Rob & Brennan get out of the plane, having sat closer to the back.
- “Rob and Brennan were all the way in the back seat of the plane, so you know they were pissed off about that. They were in the ultimate last row of the plane.”— Margarita
Frank & Margarita find the 4x4s first and inform their driver to head to North Country Bed and Breakfast near Scotty Lake.
Rob & Brennan find the 4x4s and are off to North Country Bed and Breakfast.
- “We're trying to be really friendly and warm to each other and understanding and respectful. It gives me a lot of hope that we can make it to the end and possibly win this thing.”— Margarita
Back in Beijing, Joe & Bill arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport. They are able to find flights to San Francisco to Seattle, then Seattle to Anchorage. They book the flights and are off to Alaska.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, Frank & Margarita arrive at North Country Bed and Breakfast and read their next clue, informing teams to perform a traditional blanket toss, known as Nalukataq, to get their next clue. The teams will get to perform the blanket toss in the order that they arrived. Since the hours of operation are not until 8 the next morning, teams will have to stay in the cabin overnight.
Rob & Brennan arrive, finding their next clue. They learn that they will be staying the cabin that night because of the hours of operation. Inside, they see that Frank & Margarita have beaten them there.
- “Now it's getting to competition time. We're getting close to the end.”— Rob
- “We'll probably be neck and neck throughout the rest of the race.”— Brennan
In the morning, Frank & Margarita are the first team to perform the blanket toss. Frank spots the clue, and he and Margarita run to it. Opening the clue, teams are informed to head to Matanuska Glacier, where they will find their next clue at the base of the glacier.
Rob & Brennan perform the blanket toss. Brennan spots the clue quickly. He and Rob grab it and head to their car, and Frank & Margarita leave the bed and breakfast.
As both teams are driving, they ask for directions to Matanuska Glacier in the same store, within minutes of each other.
Frank & Margarita stop at a convenience store to ask for directions. After getting directions, Rob & Brennan are just behind Frank & Margarita.
Both teams find the Matanuska Glacier resort entrance, but they see a "Closed" sign nearby. Frank & Margarita turn around, hoping to find another entrance. Rob & Brennan find a local bar, where the employee there tells them to ignore the sign.
Frank & Margarita find the same bar the lawyers were just at. The same employee tells the couple what he said to Rob & Brennan.
Rob & Brennan arrive at the resort and begin their trek to the base.
Frank & Margarita arrive. They look for the lclue.
Rob & Brennan get their next clue, revealing it to be a Roadblock. Rob decides to perform the task. For the Roadblock, the teammate assigned to it will have to climb an ice wall to get their next clue at the top.
Frank & Margarita arrive at the glacier base. Frank decides to perform the Roadblock.
Rob is briefed on how to climb safely. He begins the climb. Frank begins to climb the ice wall.
Rob gets to the top of the ice wall and receives his team's next clue. Frank gets to the top, getting his team's next clue. Rob opens the clue, informing teams to drive to Mile Marker 131 near Denali State Park, where they will get snowmobiles to drive to the Pit Stop at Wilderness Cabin.
Rob descends down the wall first. He and Brennan are on their way to Mile Marker 131.
Frank is at the bottom of the wall. He and Margarita begin their drive to Mile Marker 131.
Rob & Brennan arrive at Mile Marker 131 and get their snowmobile on the way to the Pit Stop.
Within a few minutes behind the lawyers, Frank & Margarita arrive at Mile Marker 131. They make their way via snowmobile to the Pit Stop.
At Wilderness Cavern, Rob & Brennan meet the Pit Stop greeters, learning that they are in first place. The two are elated at the news.
Frank & Margarita arrive at the Pit Stop, learning that they are in second place.
Meanwhile, Team Guido land in Anchorage. They make their way out to the airport parking lot.
- “We're just going to kick and scream and fight and try to get their as best as we can until the very last minute.”— Bill
They find their 4x4 and are on their way to North Country Bed and Breakfast.
- “This will be snow country. We're used to cold weather. We love cold weather. So, throw it at us, we can handle it.”— Joe
They arrive at North Country Bed and Breakfast. Opening their next clue, they learn that they will be staying in the nearby cabin until 8 the next morning.
- “We're still very confident to win the show. It will be dramatic to have a team come from way behind and pull ahead as a squeaker. That's what I predict is going to happen.”— Bill
- “I do feel that we are going to win. I just have that gut feeling that we're destined to win this thing.”— Frank
- “Frank and Margarita are the people we have to beat now and we have to try our damnedest to do it.”— Rob
- “We are going to win. That's it. There's no question about that.”— Margarita
- “It's time to focus on the victory. It's time to focus on winning The Amazing Race.”— Brennan
The order of departure from the Temple of Heaven Park is as follows:
Teams will use a map of the vast Tiantan Park and make their way to the "X" marked on the map. The park is a famous kiting spot, and teams will have to find the kite flyers that have the kites with clues hanging on to them.
Both Detour options require the teams to walk across the Great Wall of China.
Choice A: Flat
Teams had to walk to a long, flat path to a far away marked pavilion for the next clue. This path to this pavilion is on a flatter terrain, but much longer.
None of the teams chose this task.
Choice B: Steep
Teams had to take a much shorter, but extremely steep path to the closer marked pavilion for the next clue. Teams choosing this path will find that it is much shorter.
All of the teams chose this option.
One team member had to bounce on an Alaskan blanket toss known as Nalukataq until they spotted the nearby route marker on the ice. But due to the establishment's operation hours (it opens 8 am the next day), teams may spend the night in the nearby cabin. Whoever arrives the earliest at the bed and breakfast gets to do the blanket toss first.
Teams must head to Matanuska Glacier. Teams will get their next clue right next to an ice wall.
"Could be a slippery situation."
One team member had to go climb a sheer, vertical ice wall to retrieve information from the top of the glacier using the provided gear and a lesson from an instructor. On top of the glacier is their next clue.
The Roadblock performers per team are underlined:
First Place • Eliminated • Last placer on a Non-Elimination Leg • Season winner • Season 2nd place • Season 3rd place • ► Used the Fast Forward
- Prior to The Amazing Race 25, this was one of two times (the other being The Amazing Race 4) that a Non-Elimination Leg in the penultimate leg was not part of a 2-hour season finale.
- Tim Holland at TV Guide Online (12/12/2001): "Reality Check"
|The Amazing Race 1 Episodes|
"The Race Begins" · "Divide and Conquer" · "Home for Some" · "Colossal Showdown" · "Desert Storm" · "Whatever It Takes to Win" · "Triumph and Loss" · "Competition to the Fullest" · "The Unexpected Twist" · "To the Physical and Mental Limit" · "Fight to the Last Minute" · "Race to the Finish (Part 1)" · "Race to the Finish (Part 2)"