Leg 22.10 – “This is more important than your bag falling down!”
This is it! The Final Three teams will be decided on this Leg. And the city that will host this decisive Leg? San Francisco, California, USA! Teams will fly on the Philippine Airlines A350 from Grenada to San Francisco.
The Leg will begin at 7am in front of Chase Center.
Teams must first make their way on foot to Oracle Park where they will find the 12th Road Block of the Race: Get Lit. The team member with only five Road Blocks so far MUST complete this one.
Opening Day 2022 for Major League Baseball is only days away from the day of filming. For this Road Block, teams will help prepare for Opening Day festivities by climbing up to replace five burned out floodlights. Once they ensure the bright lights will stay on for the big day, they will be given the next clue.
That clue tells teams to find a brand new 2023 Kia Sportage parked somewhere outside the ballpark.
The clue also gives teams a list of four checkpoints within the city of San Francisco. Teams will drive around the city to these four checkpoints, in any order they choose, in order to collect four separate clues which they will keep until further notice.
The four checkpoints are:
-Seward Street Slides (teams must slide down)
-16th Avenue Tiled Steps
Teams will be allowed to complete these checkpoints at any point during this Leg. So they can drive to them now, or proceed to the next Route Marker at See’s Candies in South San Francisco.
See’s Candies is one of the most popular American manufacturers and distributors of candy, especially chocolates. And it recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Here at its headquarters in South San Francisco, teams will encounter the Detour: Flatten It or Packin It.
In Flatten It, teams will make cashew brittle. They will pour, flatten and then cut the brittle to pack.
In Packin’ It, teams must box and package 40 boxes of a special Limited Edition assorted Amazing Race-inspired box of chocolates according to an example.
When teams get their sweet treats ready for transport, they will be given the next clue.
That clue directs teams to head to the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry terminal in Tiburon. Here, teams must search the nearby docks for a flagged pier where they will choose a dinghy. They will row themselves to Angel Island, using only a compass and searching the shoreline for Race flags. Teams are also advised to take all their belongings with them.
Angel Island once was the site of an immigration station which processed approximately one million immigrants, primarily from Asia, from 1910 to 1940. Today, the Angel Island Immigration Station is a National Historic Landmark. And the entire island is a State Park and California Historical Landmark.
Teams will look back at their Race so far by collecting stamps representing the countries they’ve had the privilege of Racing through.
Each team member will hop on a bike, both attached with a wagon, and follow a map to find nine checkpoints on the island, starting at the Immigration Station. At each checkpoint are questions about the Race relating to the countries they’ve visited so far. There are answers specific to each team regarding tasks and placements as well as general facts about each destination.
At each checkpoint are large, life-size stamps which they must search amongst for the one that corresponds with each answer. Placing the stamp in their wagon, teams will continue on until they reach Battery Ledyard.
Here, teams choose one of the four large, life-size passports and stamp them with their answers.
The nine questions are:
-Did you have a higher finish in Country A or Country B?
-In which country did *teammember* perform their 4th Road Block?
-Which country had more Route Markers? Country A or Country B?
-Did you have a lower finish in Country A or Country B?
-Which country had the earliest Pit Start?
-In which country did the last place team check-in the latest? (With relation to the Pit Start)
-Which country has a farther distance from the Philippines? Country A or Country B?
-In which country did you have your latest Pit Start departure with relation to the other teams?
-In which country did you drive the most kilometers in a 2023 Kia Sportage?
When teams’ passports have the correct stamps on the correct pages, they will receive the next clue.
That clue tells teams to refer to the four clues from their city tour earlier in order to reveal the location of the Pit Stop. When they can show a speedboat operator the correct answer, he will take them to the Pit Stop at…
The Treasure Island Administration Building. The site of one of the most iconic Penultimate Leg Pit Stops in TARPHDME history will now be the site that decides who will Race on the Penultimate Leg of this season!
The first team to check-in will win P200,000 courtesy of Shell V-Power Nitro+.
The last team to check-in WILL be the last team eliminated from this Race.
So, we definitely need to refuel before flying all the way back to Asia across the Pacific. Initially, I was going to just have a refueling stopover in San Francisco or Los Angeles before flying over to an Asian or Oceania destination for Leg 10. No tasks in the stopover city, just have teams wait out the time it takes to refuel the charter plane.
But when Google scouting for an Asia or Oceania Leg 10 fell through, I decided on the quickest alternate location. My hometown! Lol No need for Google scouting here. But that doesn’t mean I actually physically scouted these locations either lol
Anyway, San Francisco has been visited by TARPHDME three! times already. But let’s just assume each one of those visits has been iconic. So instead of visiting another American city, TARPHDME will always return to San Francisco. Lol
In the early days of planning this potential San Francisco Leg, I actually had teams driving farther away from the City. Maybe doing something like the Napa Valley or go south to Silicon Valley or even drive east into the Central Valley and do some farming tasks.
But since this is a pseudo-Penultimate Leg, I decided to keep it mostly within San Francisco city limits.
The interesting thing is, being my hometown, you’d think I’d have plenty of things that could fit as an Amazing Race task off the top of my head. But actually, it seems to be quite harder than having to come up with random tasks in a random city I’ve never been in before lol
This Leg feels a bit barebones on paper, but I think it has enough twists and challenges to make it worthy of being a pseudo-Penultimate Leg.
First, the Pit Start and Road Block at Oracle Park and the Chase Center is just for teams to stay within a limited area on foot with minimal interaction with locals. Oracle Park of course hosted Route Markers on TARPHDME before. But I decided on the harnessy floodlight-changing task to fulfill the thrill factor for the season. And with this “filming” before the baseball season began, I thought it would be perfect.
Next up is this weird thing that just popped into my mind. So again, San Francisco is a big city with a lot of people. But we don’t necessarily want teams having to interact with all those people. I had a list of locations that would be great to feature on the Race, but no tasks to accompany them. That’s when I came up with this random “checkpoint” task.
Most importantly, it is an opportunity for more Kia exposure. So that will make our friends at Kia happy. But I think the most interesting part will be how teams decide which order to visit these four checkpoints. The locations are not near each other. So they will have to navigate the crazy streets of San Francisco to find them all. Not to mention having to find parking while also avoiding tickets and smash and grabs lol
Telling teams they can do this task now or later should also be interesting. Will a team actually wait until later in the Leg to complete this task. Or will they get it out of the way now? What drama could that provoke? We’ll have to just watch to see!
Next up, I couldn’t think of a Detour. But I drove past the See’s Candies factory one day while putting this route together and decided to find something to do there. Luckily, See’s celebrated an anniversary last year, so we could easily connect that into the show. Both tasks should be fine. Both tedious, so a great way to frustrate teams.
Ghirardelli would be the more San Francisco-associated chocolate company. But then that might be a bit too touristy and maybe even stereotypical.
I thought about doing something Filipino-related in Daly City. But we’re not TAR Canada here that we need to find some random connection to the motherland every second lol
Finally, what should be the highlight and most exciting part of the Leg. I think this stamp memory task is finale-worthy. So I am kind of sad that I have to use it here instead. Maybe a Switchback in a future finale. Hehe (If TARPHDME lives that long! Lol)
I wanted to include Angel Island only because it gets teams out of the City. And it will of course have less people around. I also didn’t want teams to have to ride and/or wait for a ferry, so having them row out is a good physical task to add to this Leg. I’m not sure if that’s feasible, but anything is possible on TARPHDME, so it’s okay. lol
For this stamp task, it is a good combination of physical and mental. The stamps should be big and heavy. And teams should realize they won’t be able to put all ten stamps into their wagons. So that means they will have to make multiple trips to and from the huge passport book and the question checkpoints. (Lots of checkpoints this Leg! lol)
Our hope with this task is that teams will have to go back and forth between the checkpoints and the passport because they get many questions wrong. That should be exciting drama. Especially as it decides who will make it to the finale.
We could’ve had a Pit Stop here on Angel Island. But we can’t pass up an opportunity to have 8K UHD drone shots of teams speeding across the bay to Treasure Island. Lol
Plus, let’s just imagine this was the site of an iconic Penultimate Leg Pit Stop (season 13). So it would be fun to visit it again here.
Overall, I think this could be a crazy, fun and exciting Leg. Lots of opportunities for teams to be competitive and Race hard. And of course in a beautiful city. (When you ignore the garbage and human excrements and sketchy people in the streets. Sorry, but it’s true. Still love my hometown though lolololol)