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Two Idaho friends compete in 'The Amazing Race'

They have known each other for decades and appear on the show together on Sept. 27.

BOISE, Idaho — Idahoan Joel Strasser of Meridian likes to try new things, people may know him from the numerous records he has broken for putting things in his beard. Now he is striking off the beaten path yet again, he and his best friend Garrett Smith, also from Idaho, are competing on the popular show "The Amazing Race."

"The show is just the craziest adventure ever being thrown into a location you've probably never been before," Strasser said. "In a culture you've probably never seen before. Trying to figure out as you go, how to get through tasks and challenges."

The two Idaho men have known each other for more than two decades and both of them said they are excited to be on the show. The season is titled "One Amazing Race: The Amazing Race." 

"It's a little weird, because most of the contestants were from places like New York and California. And then you have the Idaho guys," Strasser said. 

Their friendship and love for the show began 18 years ago. They met when they were in the service. Strasser watched the "Amazing Race" while he was deployed in Iraq in 2005. Garrett was injured and had to come back home, and he was watching the show at the same time.

"So, when Strasser got back, we both were talking about the amazing race. And we're like, Dude, we could do this, like we both speak a second language," Smith said.

They said it was a crazy experience and that it was a lot different from watching it on the television.

"When you watch the show on the couch, some of the challenges in the tasks look simpler than others. And you're like, oh, I could do that," Strasser said. "I could do that. It's what I used to say, when you're in the moment. And the adrenaline's pumping, and a million dollars is on the line, and you're trying to finish things before other teams are finishing them. It's a whole different ballgame."

He is used to completing challenges and dealing with pressure. as KTVB has previously reported, Strasser has broken multiple Guinness World Records on live television for putting things in his beard.

"There's pressure in both of them. But this was a different kind of pressure, and obviously a much more physical, we were running all the time," Strasser said. 

The two also get a lot of attention when they are together because of their beards.

"People loved our look," Strasser said. "We got comments and compliments on our look all the time. I think a lot of people can relate to us in a way even if they don't have majestic facial hair because we got dad bods. So, we're just we're just relatable. Yeah, we just kind of fit it. We're just average people."

The pair appear on "The Amazing Race" on Sept. 27. The Egyptian Theatre will also show the first episode.

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