Salt Lake father-son team take first in 3rd leg of 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars'

Published: Tuesday, March 11 2014 4:45 p.m. MDT

In this Detour A, cousins Jamal, left, and Leo, right, must build a bamboo raft , load it with supplies, and paddle it down the river where they will deliver the items to the village chief at Kampung Tombung, Malaysia in order to receive the next clue on the the All-Star edition of "The Amazing Race" on Sunday, March 9, on CBS.

Robert Voets, CBS Broadcasting

A Salt Lake father-son team won the third leg on “The Amazing Race: All-Stars” during Sunday’s episode, despite having to backtrack during one of the challenges.

This leg of the race also marked a milestone for the team.

Dave and Connor O’Leary are one of nine remaining teams in this race around the world for $1 million. This season involves returning teams following clues in yellow and red envelopes, navigating transportation and completing challenges called Roadblocks and Detours along the way to get the next clues.

The O’Learys were on season 22 a year ago and at the end of the second leg, Dave O’Leary injured his leg running to the mat. The pair continued to race — with Dave on crutches — winning the third and fourth legs of the race. But ultimately, they had to withdraw from the race.

“Last season, leg two was a bad leg for us, literally,” Dave said during Sunday’s episode as they left for the airport. “It’s really a relief to be on leg three and be on two legs.”

Dave, 59, is a prostate cancer survivor and Connor, 22, is a testicular cancer survivor and both are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Holladay 25th Ward, Salt Lake Holladay South Stake.

The teams started out in Gaungzhou, China, and because most of the teams ended the second leg of the race at about the same time, they left within minutes of each other. This leg of the race took teams to Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, and through the rainforest to the Kionsom Waterfall.

The O’Learys were fourth to start, but the first to the airport and were one of six teams on the first flight to Borneo. The second flight left three hours later.

“This is a beautiful place,” said Dave O’Leary, a real estate investor, as they traveled by taxi to the waterfalls.

Once at the Kionsom Waterfall, one team member had to complete the Roadblock by rappelling 10-stories down a waterfall with the Travelocity Roaming Gnome to get their next clue tethered partway down the waterfall.

Dave O’Leary decided to rappel down the waterfall.

“The Kiomsom Falls were absolutely breathtaking,” said Connor O’Leary, a professional cyclist and University of Utah student. “It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see those falls.”

He watched his dad rappel and cheered him on.

“The last time we were on the race, (on) leg three we were in a wheelchair, and now my dad’s rappelling down the waterfalls and we’re in first place,” Connor O’Leary added. “Pretty big turnaround and we’re loving it.”

From the waterfall, they had to go to the river at Kampung Tompinahaton. Teams had to build a bamboo raft during the Detour challenge and either deliver a box of food to the village chief of Kampung Tombung or join a hunting safari where each team member had to hit a fake bird target using a blowpipe.

The O’Learys and three of the other teams that arrived first at the Detour decided to deliver supplies, which included watermelon, onions, apples, bananas and a bag of potatoes.

Dave and Connor lashed their gnome to the front of their raft as they headed down the river.

“The experience of being there was incredible,” said Dave O’Leary, who is a Cubmaster in his LDS ward. “To be in Borneo, to have that beautiful river, and to be healthy and to be able do this again with my son was great.”

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