TAR 10: Episode 9

After fording Finnish swamps and riding bikes through a limestone mine, all the racers of The Amazing Race wanted was a nice Pit Stop — where they could get some rest and maybe do some laundry. But this week was only the first half of a two-part leg of the race.

Learning that teams would start this week’s leg by leaving Madagascar for Finland, Beauty Queen Dustin asked, “Don’t they wear wooden shoes there?”

Godwin Cho said he and his brother were running this leg “in memory of [David & Mary],” who were eliminated last week.

Erwin laughed at Godwin and said, “You make it sound like they’re in the grave!”

Teams
arrived in Helsinki on the same flight, and then made their way to an
internet cafe, where they were surprised to receive videos from home.
Viewers were surprised to learn that Erwin has a hot girlfriend.

The
cafe owner gave teams their next clue, directing them to travel 125
miles by train and taxi to a school with a typically difficult-to-spell
Finnish name. On the train, Kandice had to borrow beauty products from
Tyler, settling the debate: male models are more vain than beauty
queens.

The Beauty Queens and the Models grabbed the first cabs
they saw when exiting the train. The other three teams noticed that
there was a official queue of Finns waiting for taxis.

Rob &
Kimberly begged their way to the front of the line, and Lyn &
Karlyn just cut in front of everyone. As he and Erwin waited patiently
at the end of the line, Godwin mused, “Being polite sucks sometimes.”

Upon
reaching the school, teams found their next clue in a box at the edge
of a muddy field. They had their choice of Detours: “Swamp This or
Swamp That.”

In Swamp This, teams strapped on cross-country skis
and followed a one-mile course across the swampy, snow-free field. They
could finish the task quickly if they could master the technique.

In
Swamp That, teams completed an obstacle course on foot through the mud.
Though the Swamp That course was shorter, some the obstacles required
brute strength, and teams were more likely to get stuck waist-deep in
the mud.

Tyler & James opted for Swamp That, while Dustin
& Kandice strapped on their skis for Swamp This. How anyone could
turn down the chance to run a Finnish mud obstacle course is beyond me.

The
Models had an easy enough time swinging on ropes and crawling through
mud, until a steeplechase-style jump into a mud pit left James mired in
sludge. Once Tyler helped James free, they continued on to the next
phase, where one team member needed to carry the other.

Tyler
started out carrying James, but they switched halfway through.
Exhausted from their efforts, the final phase of the course — a run to
the clue box — slowed to a leisurely walk.

The next clue
instructed them to take a train 104 miles to the town of Turku, and
then drive another 70 miles to the Tytyri limestone mine in Lohja.

Just
to make sure the skiers didn’t stay totally clean, their course
included a similar steeplechase-style jump. Dustin landed on her rear,
complaining, “It’s gonna look like I pooed my pants.”

The Beauty
Queens reached the clue box shortly after the Models, but were able to
make up ground when Tyler & James took the time to change clothes
before getting into their cab to the train station.

Rob &
Kimberly gained a lead on the two remaining teams when Rob carried
Kimberly through part of the obstacle course at a brisk pace. In their
cab, afterward, Rob said, “I didn’t think I’d be able to carry you as
easily as I did!”

I can only assume that, as soon as he said that, Rob wished he could take it back.

When Kimberly asked the inevitable follow-up question — “Do you think I’m fat?” — Rob wisely kept his mouth shut.

Rob
& Kimberly just missed the first train to Turku, giving Dustin
& Kandice and Tyler & James a one-hour head start on the other
three teams.

At the mine in Lohja, teams encountered a
Roadblock. One team member had to ride a bicycle one mile down into the
mine, retrieve a limestone block, climb back up the mine, and break
open the block to find a clue. The ride down the hill was easy, but
everyone walked their bike back up the steep hill.

The clue
inside the rock instructed teams to drive 39 miles to Olympic Stadium
in Helsinki. Tyler & James arrived first, and the next clue told
them to rappel face-first down a tall tower attached to the stadium.

Tyler
went first, hoping to demonstrate the safety of the task to the fearful
James. James worked up enough courage to go through with the rappel,
but his technique suffered a bit.

Instead of walking his way
down the building, James’ legs hung free and he dangled in his harness
like an upside-down “V,” bent at the waist. He was forced to lower his
whole body weight using just his arms. The whole endeavor looked like a
Coast Guard helicopter rescue in reverse.

As James reached the
ground, Dustin & Kandice were about to start their descent, and the
other teams were arriving at the stadium. Tyler & James received a
clue informing them that this leg of the race wasn’t over, and that
they would need to keep racing.

Next week, teams get to drive
tanks through another swamp. And Lyn & Karlyn break away from the
Cho Brothers, ending the Six-Pack alliance for good.

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