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Every season we watch The Amazing Race Canada (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET, CTV) from the comfort of our couches and marvel at everything that must go into making this show. The challenges. The interactions. The cameras that capture every single potential shot.

Luckily, after seven seasons of travelling the world with our remotes, we were invited onto the Race during the Kitchener-Waterloo stop and you can watch that episode Tuesday night. Read on to discover nine secrets we learned while tagging along with the six remaining teams, hot off a plane from Saskatchewan.

8. Going on location is like being in the race itself

Okay, so we didn’t have to take an early flight in from Saskatchewan, nor did we have to bus it to K-W with other teams from the airport. But we definitely had to meet Team Publicity at the crack of dawn at a designated hotel, and then we had to travel with them as they tracked the first and last place teams all day long (the unit photographer had to get all of the appropriate shots, after all).

And what a haul that was. You know how you see the teams running frantically from spot to spot? Yeah so that really happens, which meant we had to run right alongside them. Thank goodness we left the strappy sandals at home.

7. It’s super-hard not to get in the shot

Think about how chaotic the race can get. Teams are running back and forth, twisting and turning looking for clues, and just trying to keep up with the mania around them. Well as they’re doing that, everyone else involved in making the show has to duck and hide and tuck and roll too. Okay, so maybe they don’t roll, but you get the idea. We (along with other crew members) had to do everything in our power to stay out of the shot, and the struggle was real. Especially during one particular spot, when we were basically in the middle of a downtown street, trying to catch our ride while teams were running and darting all over the place.

6. There are tons of onlookers

Everywhere we turned, there were people trying to get a glimpse of what we were seeing unfold in real time. When we looked up, we could see people looking down at the streets from their office building windows. At certain challenges, onlookers would peek their heads around the corners of buildings to see what was going on and all the while, the racers were oblivious, keeping their eyes on the prize.

5. We have no idea how they edit this thing down

It’s hard to describe the sheer adrenaline you feel watching the race go down live. Maybe it’s the fact that we were running too. Perhaps it’s because we just wanted to jump in there and do certain challenges alongside the teams. Or it could be because, even as we were trying to get from stop to stop, there were about a million moving pieces. We have no idea how the powers that be edit this thing down into one hour of television each week, because if it were up to use we’d include basically everything. Seriously, it’s no wonder this series keeps winning Canadian Screen Awards.

4. The challenges are harder than they look at home

Real-talk for a second: some of these challenges are super hard. Like, we walked over to inspect one of the tasks the teams had to complete at one point and we wanted to cry. So the fact that anyone managed to complete that challenge in particular left us super impressed. (We know, but we have to be vague here. We signed our lives away.)

Anyhow, that doesn’t mean the teams don’t struggle. Yes, you see it on the race itself, but some of these things take hours—HOURS—to complete (we all remember the Nanaimo clam challenge, right?). And until we went on the race ourselves, we really didn’t get it. Now we do, and we basically want to bow down to everyone who has ever run this thing.

2. It’s impossible to see the friction from the outside

When we were on location, we had no idea the other racers were so rubbed by Dave and Irina. They hid it pretty well at the time, but now we’re woke to all of the tension and friction that was happening between the teams at that point. Maybe it was because while we were there, there wasn’t really a lot of opportunity for the teams to interact. But we had no clue that this wasn’t just another standard season of The Amazing Race Canada, where everyone more or less got along, until we started watching the broadcast.

2. Things don’t always go as planned

We always wondered how the teams find the proper route to the mat, where they greet host Jon Montgomery at the end of every episode. As it turns out, they don’t. We won’t say who, but one of the teams in this particular episode definitely came running in from the wrong direction. We will say that from our vantage point, production handled it all very smoothly.

1. Jon Montgomery is an ace interviewer

It may seem like Jon only greets the teams at the end of each leg and tells them if they get to stay or go, but there’s actually a lot that goes into hosting the show and let us tell you—the guy knows what he’s doing. He asked the team any and every question possible, with very little intervention from production. It’s kind of sad that so little of his conversations actually make it to air, because he got some great stuff. It just goes to show you that a) Jon really is the host with the most and b) each one of these episodes is packed to the brim with nail-biting stuff. Deciding what actually makes it to air is one helluva job.

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Related: Kayla hits up TheMuseum in Kitchener-Waterloo in the latest episode of The Amazing Race Canada: Ride Along