Amazing Race

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Run for the Border

Out in the parking lot, Team @ find out from a van driver where they need to go, and Gary and Mallory will be following them. Michael and Kevin are starting to get uncomfortable in their ice chairs. Even a DVD of a crackling fireplace playing on the flat screen monitor in front of them doesn't help, although it improves my mood a bit. Kevin complains about the cold, but Michael's strategy of alternating cheeks is serving him well, as is his strategy of wearing pants. But I guess they couldn't send the racers to Lapland and not have them sit down and thus create laps. Soon the Snow Queen tells them their time is up, and they gladly stand, more worried about their frozen assets than the negligible amount of time they lost. "We should have brought gloves and butt pads," Kevin says as he and his dad tandem-carry the ice slab out. Outside, a guy not only tells them where they're going, but gives them directions. "And put some pants on," he doesn't say to Kevin.

Up ahead, the two lead teams are in search of an unmarked trail in the woods, with Claire talking about four women venturing into the wilderness like it's a horror movie waiting to happen. Well, the cameras are all set, at least. Gary and Mallory are also lost, so Michael and Kevin are the first to find the clue box. From last to first in less than half a leg? That's either some awesome racing or a shitty Speed Bump. Oh, wait, it's both. This'll be a Road Block, and the question is, "Who's feeling kind of mushy?" Depends on which of their asses has thawed out more, I guess.

Phil tells us that there's snow on the ground in Kiruna eight months out of the year. Too bad we're here in one of the other four, then. Phil says that during that period, dogsleds are the fastest form of transportation, but they have to stay in shape during the off-season, too. Which is where our racers come in, I guess. Phil looks a little embarrassed amid barking huskies as he says the teams "will find out exactly what it takes to keep these animals in shape during the dog days of summer." They'll use a summer training sled (which has wheels instead of skis) to mush dogs down a trail through the woods. As they go, they'll need to grab five flags hanging from wires overhead, and then trade them with a "hunter" for a shipment of pelts. If they miss any flags, they'll have to do a penalty lap for each one (which is why this region is called Lapland, obviously). Then they'll drive the dogs back to the start of the course and swap the pelts for their next clue. Michael is doing this Road Block, which should tell you all you need to know about how physically challenging it is.

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Amazing Race

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