Nancy and Emily finished ahead of Joe and Bill in Episode 9 but were penalized for deliberately not doing the detour task and hence eliminated from the race.
This season marks the first major change to race rules. In response to criticisms regarding team members who don't perform any of the Roadblock tasks, the producers changed the Roadblock rules. Now, no one team member may perform more than six Roadblocks. Teams must now choose carefully who will do the Roadblock.
Season 3 featured the first father/son team (Dennis & Andrew).
Lyn and Karlyn from Season 10 are the first all female team to reach the Final Three
In season 1, the introduction of each episode featured Phil's voice giving a brief synopsis of the show with theme music in the background and the presentation of the teams. Future seasons would then simply have the theme music with the presentation of the teams. However, Phil's synopsis was absent in one episode.
Unlike in later seasons, Season 1 did not show running placements of teams on screen during each leg of the race, showing only the names and team identifier. Team placements were only shown when they checked in at the Pit Stop at the end of each leg.
Route marker flags were yellow and white in Season 1. In future installments, the flags changed colors to red and yellow so that teams could spot them more easily. The only exception being a leg in Vietnam, where the flag was white and yellow with a black stripe, so as not to be confused with the Vietnamese flag.
Season 1 took 39 days to film, as opposed to the average four weeks in other seasons.
Season 1 contestants Joe and Bill got the name 'Team Guido' from their pet toy fox terrier, Guido. They were also the only team this season to have a nickname displayed on the screen along with their names and their team identifier.
In Season 1, Host Phil Keoghan greeted only the last team to check in at each pit stop. In future seasons, Phil greeted all teams at the end of each leg.
Season 1: Clue boxes tended to represent the culture of the local pit stop. For example, the clue boxes in Zambia were a bamboo cylinder.
Season 1: Joe and Bill are the first team in the history of the race to finish first at a Pit Stop without the use of the Fast Forward in Leg 4, El Jem Tunisia.
Although the race is planned so that the final three teams will all reach the finish line, in season 1, Joe and Bill were so far behind that they could not catch up and did not finish the race.
In Season 1 on Leg 5, Paul and Amie were lost in the Sahara desert after trying numerous routes, getting half of their car stuck in a ditch, and Amie vomiting excessively. Paul quit, but his partner didn't and found the desert oasis pit stop by luck, unknowingly skipping the roadblock and route marker. They were not told to go back and complete the Roadblock, because they arrived in last place.
In Season 1, at the end of Leg 5, teams were relocated to Gabès because of a sandstorm at the desert pit stop. Therefore, Leg 6 began in Gabès. This pit stop still holds the record of being the longest - 60 hours.
In Season 1, an airport strike in Rome delayed Leg 6.
In season 1, during Leg 13, when Joe and Bill were still completing leg 12, Team Guido was required to have villagers bounce one teammate upwards by the use of an Alaskan tapestry. According to the DVD commentary, the tapestry broke under the weight the day before, so a trampoline had to be used instead. This created a noticeable and odd scene where you never see Team Guido and the villagers in the same shot. In the final shot, the trampoline is clearly visible behind the villagers.
In every single leg of season 1, the detour always came before the roadblock.
After the Season 1 race, Emily and Brennan broke up with their respective partners and started dating each other.
Kevin and Drew (Season 1) made an appearance in Season 8, handing out clues from a hot dog stand in New York City.
After the Season 1 race, Frank and Margarita, who were separated parents, reconciled. However, they have since divorced and Frank has remarried.
After the race, Lenny and Karyn (Season 1) broke up.
Season 2 was the only race (excluding the Family Edition, which stayed entirely on North America) to not visit Europe; only connecting flights from Brazil to South Africa passed through Europe.
Season 2 is the first season to have episode titles be quotes said by either the host or the racers.
Except for visits to Thailand and Hong Kong, and starting and ending in the United States, all other destination countries in Season 2 were in the Southern Hemisphere.
Season 2: Three countries (South Africa, Thailand, and China) visited in the Season 1 were visited once again, as well as Alaska. New countries visited included Brazil, Namibia, Australia, and New Zealand. This was also the first season to visit the continents of South America and Oceania.
Season 2: In Leg 1 and Leg 3, Blake and Paige tied both Hope and Norm and Shola and Doyin, respectively. The following legs, the tied team was eliminated.
Season 2: In Leg 3, Phil waited over 24 hours for Peggy and Claire to arrive at the Pit Stop - the longest amount of time Phil has waited for the last team to arrive.
Season 2: In Leg 3, Leg 4, and Leg 7 Peggy & Claire, Shola & Doyin, and Mary & Peach did not perform the final tasks and instead proceeded directly to the Pit Stop. They were eliminated in the order mentioned.
Season 2: In Leg 12 what the show claims is an "old sugar mill" is actually the former campus of Maui High School outside of Paia.