About Travis Wood - Our Featured Rowdy Rouser
This week we’d like to give a major shout out to a Rowdy Rouser and inspirational athlete, Travis Wood. As a proud member of Olympic Team USA Gold Coast, the Boise State Triathlete Club, the Wattie Ink Hit Squad, Team Upcycle and TriTown Racing, you could say Travis has been bitten by the Triathlon bug. After only a few short years of training, he has taken home numerous awards and is on track to becoming a professional triathlete. Travis thrives on experimentation and the thrill of competition. His curiosity pushes him to achieve goals that he once thought were impossible, so of course we wanted to support him!
Travis was first introduced to triathlons in 2015, when he watched the Ironman Triathlon in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. “I remember being shocked when I found out that so many people would participate in a race that included a 2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run.” After a full day of spectating and giving high fives to both pro and amateur finishers alike, he decided this is a sport he had to try.
Where Do Superheroes Grow Up?
Travis grew up in Temecula, CA. As the youngest of three brothers, a strong competitive streak was instilled in him at a young age. He carried this competitiveness into the sports he played: soccer, tennis, baseball, rock climbing and cross country. His driving force in most of these sports was to out-perform his brothers. In doing so, Travis got injured frequently. After a knee surgery interfered with his love for running cross country, he believed he would never enter competitive sports again.
We All Gotta Start Somewhere …
The fall after the event in Coeur d'Alene, Travis’ love for sports was reignited, so he signed up to join the Boise State Triathlon Club at Boise State University. He saved up some money and bought a 20 year old race bike on Craigslist, and began training for triathlon. He was surprised to find that his body responded much better to triathlon training due to the variation of swimming, biking and running. He also studied YouTube videos and tried learning what to do come race day from the other members of BSU Tri Club.
Despite his preparation, his first race was a mess. During the last portion of the race he got off the bike to start the run, only to be struck with new levels of pain and weakness in his legs. He fought through the pain and finished the race, getting sick multiple times after crossing the finish line. All of this was for a sprint triathlon, roughly 1/8th of the Ironman triathlon that first sparked his interest. Despite the pain, Travis was completely hooked on the sport.
But Enthusiasm (And Perseverance) Pushed Him Forward
Travis competed in 8 triathlons his first season of racing, and he even found some success. But he knew he could do better. He continued to train and immerse himself in the world of triathlon. At the end of his first season of racing, he signed up for a half-Ironman triathlon in Oceanside, California. Travis trained hard all winter and began his second season with his longest distance yet. This time, he finished in the top 10 of his age group. A week later, he took the overall win at a small local race back up in Idaho. That’s Rowdy!
Time to Take it Up A Notch
After a few wins, Travis started getting serious about his new passion. In the summer of 2017 he competed in USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska. He placed in the top 15 of his age group for the Olympic distance, and top 10 in the Sprint distance (Sprint distance is 1/2 the Olympic). This qualified him for ITU Age Group World Championships in 2018, where he would represent Team USA at an amateur level in Gold Coast, Australia. His dream had come true. His final race of 2017 was the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Regional Championships, where he took home the overall win! The win at Regionals qualified him for the very competitive Collegiate Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in April of 2018.
Today: Major Race Weekend in Alabama
Just last weekend Travis got extra Rowdy (and even battled some unexpected detours) during several races in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. First up was the USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals. Due to high rainfall in the area, water conditions in the river were unsafe, forcing the cancellation of the swim portion. Instead of the normal swim-bike-run, the format was changed to run-bike-run.
Friday was a short sprint distance race. 70 collegiate men (women's race was separate) from around the country, including powerhouses like the U.S. Naval Academy and athletes from the Colorado school competed in this 2.5k run, 20k bike, and another 2.5k run. Travis placed 23rd.
The following day was the main event, often considered one of the most competitive Olympic distance races in the country. 650 men competed, and on this second day of racing, he placed 19th overall.
He is now laser eye focused on the World Championships in September. He feels fortunate to be supported by his friends, family and a number of sponsors that help him with the cost of race entry fees and traveling to and from race venues. In addition, Travis feels lucky to train in such an athlete-centric town. The community of triathletes in the Boise area has been his biggest asset. He has also been able to hire a coach, who has helped him formulate workout plans.
Travis is feeling stronger than ever for the 2018 race season. Although he has no current plans to compete in a full Ironman race, He is confident that one day he will make the jump from short course racing to the longer endurance based triathlons.
Oh Ya, He’s Also Super Smart
Travis will also be graduating this May with his B.S. in Biology. After graduation, he plans to focus on training to become a professional triathlete. While he would like to return to school for a career in health care one day, right now he wants to focus on his passion.
As part of Team USA Gold Coast, he will proudly wear a Team USA kit for his races at the World Championships. As he finishes out the final semester at Boise State he will continue to race collegiate races as a Boise State student. He has also been selected to be part of the Wattie Ink Hit Squad, a group of fun loving and competitive triathletes who serve as ambassadors for the brand Wattie Ink.
Rowdy Prebiotic Foods is proud to sponsor Travis and fuel his superhuman goals. "As a triathlete and college student, I am always looking for a quick snack to take on the go while being careful about the fuel I take in. For me, Rowdy Bars have been a healthy addition to my day to day lifestyle. I love throwing these bars in my backpack before leaving for class and for refueling before my next big workout. " - Travis Wood, Student and Triathlete