It’s hard to keep up with Diane Travis – literally. When her friends say Diane’s always on the go, they aren’t kidding. Travis is one of the country’s most accomplished masters athletes and is active in her hometown, Clermont, Florida, known as the Choice of Champions — a nod to the many Olympians who live and train there.
Travis, 66, is a world and national champion in duathlons, a division of USA Triathlon. Duathletes run, bike and then run again instead of swimming on their third leg. She won the gold medal at the 2019 national competition and silver at the world for women 65-69 years old.
In addition to a rigorous training schedule, Travis also runs a real-estate agency she founded and served as a city council member for six years. She has been a statewide advocate for bicycle safety, following the death of her fiancé who was killed by a motorist while on his way to a cycling event.
Since this is the year of the Summer Olympics, we wanted to check in with Travis, who is also a friend and Realtor to some of the Olympians who live and train in Florida. We caught up with her at Waterfront Park in Clermont, named one of Central Florida’s most popular parks and an international triathlon destination.
How do you find time to train, compete and run a business?
DT: Training and competing takes a solid commitment to a schedule, repetition and consistency, if you want to compete or if your goal is just to stay healthy. Plus, the fun thing is most of my clients are also athletes, and we have become close friends. It lets me understand their needs much better when they’re looking for a home.
What does your training look like?
DT: My strength training is two to three times a week. My running is much less than before, and much slower, due to knee surgery. I run two to three times a week, and I mostly stay on a soft surface, like the treadmill. My cycling has been much better. I have been riding at least four times a week.
Has your training changed as you have aged? How is it different today from what it was five years ago?
DT: My training has changed over the past year due to a knee injury, which is why I’ve been concentrating more on cycling. I have new aspirations of hiking the Grand Canyon, from rim to rim, and for some epic cycling trips once we can travel internationally again.
How long have you been a competitive duathlete? What inspired you to start?
DT: My first world championship was in 1998 in Germany, three years after I started racing locally. Some of my friends were trying it, and it looked fun. The competitions were held across the lake from where I lived. When I started competing nationally, I made many new friends and became hooked on the sport.
Do you have a favorite way to celebrate after a big race?
DT: You can find me enjoying a hamburger and a beer or glass of wine.
What would you say to encourage other older adults who may think it’s too late to try something new?
DT: You’re never too old, and it’s never too late. The power of setting and achieving goals can empower you with confidence.