updated 05/10/2011 AT 2:10 PM ET
•originally published 05/11/2011 AT 12:20 PM ET
Sisters LaKisha, 30, and Jennifer Hoffman, 26, endured five continents, 23 cities, 40,000 miles and zero emergency potty breaks to become the second all-female team to finish first in 18 seasons of The Amazing Race.
Following their big win over the Globetrotters and Gary and Mallory, the sisters spoke with PEOPLE about second chances, strategy switch-ups and how they’ll spend their $1 million prize.
Just how close was this final leg?
Jen: Given the circumstances of the final task where we had to set up the entire trailer and pay such close attention to detail and the wind was so bad, it was a very close race. Even Gary and Mallory who came in after we were almost finished knocked it out. It was a great final three. It was anybody’s game that whole leg and even on that bridge for those seven miles, we weren’t positive we were going to win.
Kisha: You see glimpses behind you. We may have been delirious. You know someone is back there but you never know just how far behind you and that’s motivating and terrifying.
Like a Big Easy mirage?
Jen: Kisha pretty much said she was hallucinating for seven miles.
Kisha: I know how to ride a bike. It did not appear like that yesterday, but there was a point where I didn’t think I could go anymore. I was so exhausted and we were going against the wind. That was the longest seven miles of the Race. I just kept telling myself, “Keep moving your legs no matter what.” Jen did such a good job encouraging me and I needed it that day.
Did you change your strategy or prepare differently this time?
Kisha: We tried to enjoy the experience more and that positive energy made a difference. That showed in our placing. We were more efficient. We did swim lessons before we left and we tried to be smarter and not get frustrated like we did in China.
I imagine you were more careful about bathroom breaks as well.
Jen: I didn’t drink water or anything. I was completely dehydrated the whole time but it was the smartest move I made.
Was there a moment when you thought we can’t win?
Jen: You can’t go into the Race or a task thinking something is going to do you in or it will. The goal is just to not be last on any given leg and to be first when it counts. There has never been a task that no one could accomplish and you have to keep that in mind.
Kisha: I had several hard moments. Even in the beginning, at that first pit stop, when I thought I was going to get a break and they told us to keep racing, I thought I was going to die.
How do you plan to spend the prize money?
Kisha: I’m a graduate school student so pay for school. I’m a coach and a social-work student. I’m never going to get rich in this field so it’s going to be about making smart investments. But we also want to do something special for our mom first like start the business she’s always wanted. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I bought myself a new watch collection. My sister wants to buy a car.
Jen: Yes, but not like a Ferrari. I don’t think we will live outside the ordinary. We will go back to our normal lives and see what our opportunities are. The chance to travel with my sister around the world twice and have all these experiences is the real prize.