‘Amazing Race’ showcases FMWR USAG Stuttgart’s version of show kept teams moving for ‘Get Fit Day’

It wasn’t a race around the globe, but contestants in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart’s “Amazing Race” did get to explore the world — at least, the world of FWMR.

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted its own edition of “Amazing Race,” based on the reality television game show, on Sept. 18. But instead of competing for a million dollars, the teams competed for a weekend getaway to Camp Darby, Italy.

The goal of the competition was to showcase FMWR facilities and what they offer. It was also part of Installation Management Command-Europe’s “Get Fit Day,” themed “Get Fit, Don’t Quit.”

The theme definitely proved a challenge for the ten teams of two — married couples, friends and co-workers — as they traveled to each challenge on bicycles, including a five-mile stretch between Patch Barracks and Panzer Kaserne.

“The [final] hill was a monster,” said Leigh Ann Edwards, who completed the race with her husband, Mark. “It took everything I had — blood, sweat and tears.”
And the bike trek wasn’t even one of the challenges.

The race started at the Patch Fitness Center, where teams were required to make five free throws on the basketball court before moving on.
Next was what competitors later called the toughest task of the day: putting a puzzle of Europe together at the Patch Multi-Crafts Center frame shop.

“I thought it was the United States and it turned out being Europe,” joked Jeff Call, one of the race participants.
Only one team said the puzzle was easy: Master Sgt. Brian and Ayrril Boggess. Master Sgt. Boggess, who works for Special Operations Command Africa, knows European geography well.

“Brian was saying things like ‘I need Northern Ireland’ and ‘Oh, the Balkans are so hard,’” she said, laughing.
Then, teams went to the Patch Library to organize books using the Dewey decimal system, before biking to the Panzer Auto Skills Shop, where they changed a car tire.

The next stop was the Panzer Fitness Center, where a member of each team scaled the rock climbing wall.  
In the final challenge in the Galaxy Bowling and Entertainment Center, teams had to bowl two strikes (or four spares) before hitting the check-in mat.
“It’s fun to see so many parts of the community participating,” Ayrril Boggess added.

Like the television series, USAG Stuttgart’s Amazing Race tested partner relationships. “We were worried we were going to fight [and] get mad at each other,” said Leigh Ann Edwards.
However, it turned out that being married for 20 years had its advantages in this kind of event.

“We balance each other,” Mark Edwards said. “She made four of five hoops.”
“He was ‘Spiderman’ on the climbing wall,” she added. “We each got a strike [in bowling].” The Edwards family went home with the satisfaction of taking fourth place, with a time of one hour and two minutes.

Best of all, the two got to experience what it might feel like to be on the real “Amazing Race” show. “I thought it was just as good because we were doing it,” Leigh Ann Edwards said. “That was a blast. I would do it all over again.”

The top three teams were:

1st: Jay and Elaine Vignola, 56 minutes
2nd: Archie DeJesus and Mark Innes, 56:30
3rd: David McPadden and Jeff Call, 60 minutes

The first place team won the trip to Italy, along with $100 Army & Air Force Exchange Service gift certificates. Second- and third-place team members won gift certificates to USAG Stuttgart Outdoor Recreation.

For more photos, visit www.flickr.com/photos/usagstuttgart.