An Alberta couple won first place in the Amazing Race Canada, but say the journey to get there was just as important.

Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis were one of the final three teams competing on the season finale of the popular reality competition show.

“It is a competition, but so many times we help one another,” said Makokis. “Throughout this race we met beautiful people, and there’s many friendships that we formed during this race that’ll last a lifetime.”

In an earlier interview with CTV News Edmonton the couple said they hoped to take home the win, but the journey has taught them a lot.

“We’re super excited to be in the final. When we came on the show this is definitely where we wanted to be, and so to be here feels great. And I’m excited for people to watch tonight,” said Johnson.

The couple said they’ve received a lot of positive feedback from their appearance on the show.

“One of the common themes that people kept telling us was that they were so happy to see representation on TV from different groups that they normally don’t see.” said Johnson. “And that came from across all spectrums of society, which was really encouraging to hear.”

The newlyweds say they’ve also learned a lot about marriage while competing on The Amazing Race.

“It’s really getting it out there, communicating, talking things through in a positive constructive way. [It] was really important for us, otherwise it would’ve held us down and we wouldn’t have moved forward,” said Johnson.

“I didn’t really know what marriage is, it’s not like you see a gay married couple all the time so I didn’t really have a model for understanding what that looks like.” said Makokis. “What I’ve learned is this is the person that I’m supposed to be with, and what marriage is, is building something together and sticking beside one another through thick and thin whether or not someone is throwing hockey sticks at you because you want to get somewhere together and that’s what’s most important.”

The pair says their goal when signing up for the show was to have a positive experience together.

“Being together and pushing through all the challenges and ending up in the final three is reward enough,” said Anthony. “And I think that if people get to watch that along the way and feel inspired, you know, whether you’re Indigenous or not, that’s the point of this show. The point of this show is to get people pumped up to have an adventure in life.”

The finale aired on Tuesday.