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Annual Fear Factor challenge tests mind, body

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Tucker
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Servicemembers, dependents and civilians braved both blazing sun and torrential rain Aug. 27 at Arc Light Memorial Park to determine one thing: is fear really a factor?

Fear Factor is known for its outrageous stunts and truly vile challenges. Thanks to the creative minds at the 36th Force Support Squadron, Andersen has its own version of Fear Factor where the stunts are just as shocking.

More than 20 competitors participated in Andersen's Annual Fear Factor challenge for a grand prize of two $200 Delta Airlines travel vouchers. The morning kicked off with a grueling fireman's course featuring a tire drag and dummy rescue among other things. Following the initial round, which narrowed the field to six, contestants completed additional challenges testing the limits of both mind and body.

"You can't have a Fear Factor event without some gore and gagging," said Michele Jacobs, director of the HotSpot. "We obviously can't put anyone's life in danger, like jumping out of a helicopter or driving a car off a cliff, so it's always challenging trying to come up with the physical and mental stunts."

There was no rest for the weary as the six remaining competitors were quickly ushered on to the next stunt which consisted of a downing a concoction that had spectators plugging their noses and squirming in their seats. The mix, which included canned escargot, shrimp paste and fish sauce to name a few, tested the competitor's ability to put mind over matter. The three individuals who emptied their cup fastest advanced to the next event.

"The eating stunt is surprisingly easy to create," Jacobs said. "On Guam, there are many delicacies that most of us would not think of eating."

After overcoming their fears and gag reflexes, the remaining three competitors, all vying for claim to the grand prize, were faced with perhaps the most difficult challenge yet.

"We boiled a large amount of pig and chicken parts to make the final challenge," Jacobs said. "Everything had to be completely sanitary to ensure that no one got sick, but we had to keep that grotesque element as well."

The final three thrust their heads into large buckets of water filled with various animal parts in an attempt to fish out seven chicken feet and be named Andersen's Fear Factor champion.

Clenching victory for the second consecutive year, Jacob Greathouse, a Team Andersen dependent, completed the challenge just moments ahead of the field proving that for him, fear truly is not a factor.

Having won the grand prize, Greathouse is looking forward to putting his hard earned travel vouchers to good use.

"Because of an upcoming permanent change of station, my wife and I are heading to Wiesbaden, Germany, soon," Greathouse said. "We could definitely use the money to take a short vacation, or to visit family in the States en route to our new duty location. Either way, it'll be a big help."

Greathouse, a self-proclaimed Fear Factor fan, is grateful to the 36 FSS team for giving members of the Andersen family the opportunity to get out, have fun and win useful prizes.

"I used to watch the show and thought it would be awesome to try some of the stunts," he said. "I think it's great that we are given the chance to participate in this event ever y year and I'm thankful for the success I've had."

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