Amazing Race teams from AZ reveal what it's like to be on show

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Team Goat Yoga is made up of Sarah Williams and April Gould of Gilbert. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Team Goat Yoga is made up of Sarah Williams and April Gould of Gilbert. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Kristi Leskinen of Scottsdale and Jen Hudak made up Team Extreme Kristi Leskinen of Scottsdale and Jen Hudak made up Team Extreme
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's been one of the wildest and most competitive Amazing Race seasons ever, with a number of teams with ties to Arizona battling it out to win $1 million.

"Watching the show as a spectator I kind of thought, OK, I would do that, or sure why did they do this? said April Gould, with Team Goat Yoga. "It is a lot harder than it looks on TV."

Former Phoenix Suns stars Cedric Cebalos and Shawn Marion were Team Slam Dunk.

Professional skier and Scottsdale resident Kristi Leskinen joined forces with fellow X-game athlete Jen Hudak to form Team Extreme.

"To wake up every morning and open a clue and have no idea where you're spending the night, no idea what you are doing that day, no idea what country you'll find yourself in, it's really the trip of a lifetime," said Leskinen.

Team Goat Yoga is made up of Sarah Williams and Gould of Gilbert.

The goat yoga instructors were knocked out of the Race in episode two, but wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

"You go into it thinking you're going to win a million dollars, like you are dead set that you will win a million dollars," said Williams. "Then you get there and you're not doing very well, and you start to get stressed and overwhelmed."

"We definitely wanted to stay in the race longer," said Gould. "It was a bummer getting out so early."

Williams and Gould said there's no way to prepare for the lack of sleep, food and fatigue you experience on the show, and that includes not taking bathroom breaks for fear of falling behind.

Leskinen is convinced her experience as a competitive skier and having a partner with the same drive and determination, gave them an edge in some of the challenges.

They also excelled at making good use of their time.

"Because you have no cell phone, you have no computer and your only resources are the people you can ask on the street, you do a lot of social profiling," said Leskinen.

"You want to ask a young person, who likely has a phone and might speak English, because every time you ask somebody you have to get a waiver signed and so that can really slow you down."

Through it all, only one team will cross the finish line first, but they all have stories that will last a lifetime.

"It's called the Amazing Race for a reason," said Leskinen. "There's not a better word to describe it - it's amazing."

The season finale will air on CBS on Feb. 21.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

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