When on the Amazing Race, fat and slow overcomes thin and fast

CBS Amazing Race alum Art Velez smiling during the 2012 NRA National Police Shooting Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico That stupid sled.

U.S. Border Patrol Agents Art and J.J. had no problems stacking watermelons, landing helicopters or rappelling down side scrappers, but when asked to ride a sled ... that's where everything began to unwind.

"When I got up there, I never thought there would be a problem," explained Velez at the 2012 NRA National Police Shooting Championships in New Mexico. "I needed to pick a sled with the thinnest rails so I could go as fast as possible. The idea of trying to balance on that thing never even crossed my mind. Thought it would be a piece of cake.

"They guys were holding all these sleds. I thought the one with the thinnest rails would go the fastest. If I had picked the other sled that had the wider fat rails, I would have made it down the hill in a flash. But I went for the thin rails. That’s what ended up killing me."

More on Art's final leg on Amazing Race ...

Smith & Wesson PPC 9 six-inch at NRA's Police Championships

View of Smith & Wesson Model PPC 9 semi-automatic pistol from the right

Albuquerque, New Mexico - A couple of weeks ago, we began a review of guns. The guns used by Chase Blohm to win High Sheriff at NRA's 2012 National Police Shooting Championships in Albuquerque. Since last time we looked at a revolver, I thought now was the time for a semi-automatic. Presenting the Smith & Wesson PPC 9 six inch.

"About four years ago I purchased this PPC 9," said Blohm. "Originally I shot a five inch and just worked my way up. When I made the change, my points jumped up at least ten."

More on Blohm's Smith & Wesson PPC 9 six-inch semi-auto ...

Rifles used in World War 1 now used in New Mexico competitions

1886 Lebel rifle and 1891 Mosin Nagant rifles on display at the National Police Shooting Championships

Albuquerque, New Mexico - While in New Mexico for the 2012 National Police Shooting Championships, we ran into one-time NRAblog correspondent Patrick Hernandez. Patrick, if you remember, wrote about his club — the New Mexico Military Surplus Rifles and Pistols Shooters.

That's when it hit NRANews producer John Popp ... who better to perform a Curator's Corner on the fly then Pat? With the invitation extended, Pat ran home home and brought a few of his firearms for the NRANews cameras and crew.

See more on the Lebel and Mosin-Nagant military surplus rifles ...

Kept quiet about his time dancing and rappelling on CBS reality show Amazing Race

Art Velez shoots team events during the 2012 NRA National Police Shooting Championships Albuquerque, New Mexico - For the past couple of Mondays, we've been sharing the story of Art Velez and his time on the CBS reality show Amazing Race. Art is a shooter for the U.S. Border Patrol pistol team. That means we can't help but bump into him every September during the National Police Shooting Championships. He took the opportunity to do something he couldn't do while the show aired ... talk.

"That was probably the most frustrating part," said Velez. "I was allowed to tell my wife and my son but that was it.

"Everybody in the family had to sign non-disclosure agreements. My parents, her parents, my sister. It was probably hardest for my son because he was a freshman in high school. The kids were always on him for the inside scoop."

More on Art & J.J. learning to dance and rappel on Amazing Race ...

Classic Smith & Wesson Snubnose shoots the Off-Duty Sidearm

Smith & Wesson .357 Snub Nose used by Patrolman Chase Blohm of Memphis, Tennessee at NRA's National Police Shooting Championships

Albuquerque, New Mexico - While in Albuquerque for the National Police Shooting Championships, we asked Patrolman Chase Blohm, Jr. of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office if we could take a look at his guns. Why do that? Because Blohm finished off the Championships ranked as the High Sheriff. Whoever accomplishes such a feat probably has an incredible collection of guns. Guns they've used for years in countless tournaments with great stories of competitions and care. Or maybe not.

More on the Smith & Wesson Snubnose .357 ...

From NRA's Police Championships to CBS' Amazing Race

Art Velez from CBS' Amazing Race poses with his team trophy award at NRA's National Police Shooting Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico - The Amazing Race is more than just a reality show. We learned that a few weeks ago when talking to Season 20 contestant Art Velez. Art and his partner J.J. finished second overall in an adventure that spanned five continents and dozens of timezones. While competing in NRA's 50th National Police Shooting Championships, Art stepped to the sidelines and told us about the wear and tear such an adventure can have.

"We were on for three weeks, twenty-one days of non-stop action going 24/7. It was amazing."

How's that for an unintended pun?

It's easy to forget that Amazing Race contestants aren't just taking part in challenges. They're doing so while flying from timezone to timezone to timezone. Anyone who's experienced jet lag knows how taxing that such flights can be on your system. That's when you go from the reality show to the reality of life.

More on Amazing Race contestant Art Velez at the National Police Shooting Championships ...

Find out what firearms were used to win High Sheriff at the 2012 National Police Shooting Championships

Charles 'Chase' Blohm with his shotgun at the 2012 National Police Shooting Championships in New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico - The gentleman above with a shotgun in hand is Patrolman Charles "Chase" Blohm, Jr. of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office in Memphis, Tennessee. An eight year veteran of the force, Blohm is a Detective in the General Investigations Bureau. He is also the High Sheriff for the 2012 National Police Shooting Championships.

One thing Chase has learned throughout his years of competing for the Shelby County Pistol team is that you need a lot of guns to win a championship. For Chase, and shooters like him, sometimes that means you have to borrow a gun or two. Heck, when you're in the middle of getting your masters and your wife is going to law school, you might have to borrow even more.

More on the Guns of NRA's High Sheriff ...

National Police Shooting competitor takes on the Amazing Race

Amazing Race contestant Art Velez walks the range during NRA's 2012 National Police Shooting Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Amazing Race contestant Art Velez at NRA's 2012 National Police Shooting Championship in Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico - Sunday night marked the opening night for the 21st season of Amazing Race on CBS — a globe trekking competition where contestants take on challenges and obstacles related to the locale's culture and community. At the end of every episode (well, almost every episode), the last team to complete that leg of the race is eliminated.

In Season 20, teams took twenty-four days to travel to twenty-two cities in ten countries on five different continents. Why mention that? Because we had a few of the NRA faithful take on the Amazing Race Challenge.

More on Art Velez's time on the Amazing Race...

NPSC is sporting brand new shooting mats this year and you can get your name on them

National Police Shooting Championship Legacy Shooting mats

Albuquerque, New Mexico - One of the things that makes Albuquerque such a great location for the National Police Shooting Championship is its impressive 100-point turning target range. Competitors make use of shooting mats while in the prone position during 50 yard stages to pad their knees and, most importantly, elbows. Albuquerque's hard-packed desert ground isn't very forgiving on human joints, let alone the concrete firing lines competitors shoot from, which is why these mats are needed.

More on the NPSC's Legacy Shooting Mats ...

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