Wayne Dowd is a 22-year veteran of the US Navy who served with SEAL Team 2 as a lead sniper and regional survey team member. While in the Navy, Dowd planned and conducted special operations missions in various locations worldwide, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, Albania, and Kuwait, as well as supporting counter-narcotics operations with other government organizations.
Dowd served as the Chairman of the Board of Team4Mil, a non-profit organization that raised awareness of wounded veterans through its world record-setting wounded and non-wounded teams in the Race Across America (RAAM). Team4Mil merged with US Military Endurance Sports (USMES) in 2013.
Dowd now serves on the Board of Directors for USMES, and at the age of 54 is still going strong. He regularly competes in endurance running and cycling events and recently completed the 75-mile Georgia Death Race in 20 hours and 27 minutes. He competed in RAAM four times and owns the record for fastest time through the state of Ohio. Dowd spends much of his time introducing wounded soldiers back into their normal lives with the help of athletics.
Dowd's experience as a SEAL, his record-setting endurance cycling accomplishments, and his passion for making a better life for wounded soldiers earn him a spot among our Kill Cliff Warriors.
Wayne gave us a few minutes of his time to discuss his background and how he's been implementing Kill Cliff products into his races.
KC: How has your Navy Seal experience helped you in your career?
WD: It’s helped tremendously with the mental and physical aspects of my career and my chosen activities such as ultra-endurance running and cycling. Many people have negative thoughts and must readjust their thoughts to focus on more positives things.
KC: What is the goal of US Military Endurance Sports (USMES)?
WD: Our motto is being fit for a lifetime. You don’t need to be a professional or high-end amateur athlete. You just must have the willingness to be a part of it and not sit on the sidelines. We have professionals and high-end amateurs but not everyone is in that category.
Fit for duty, fit for life. We embody that mentality in the professional and amateur side of our organization.
KC: You have spent a lot of time with athletes who have disabilities. What made you gravitate towards these adaptive athletes?
WD: I saw young kids that were in the prime of their lives coming back from war with missing limbs and brain injuries. Some see this as an impediment that prevents them from living and active life. I thought about what I would want to do in their situation. I would want to continue to challenge myself and engage in the field of sports because that’s who I am.
I couldn’t live without sports. My goal is not to enable them and have them thinking they can do everything with ease because not everything will be easy; rather, I want to empower them to find their new way of life through sport or other avenues.
KC: You've accomplished a lot in life professionally and athletically. What continues to drive you?
WD: I have not yet met my limit and continuously push myself to find my limit. Maybe my limit is not reachable, but my goal is to find my limit and push myself to find my limit. I want to be a 54-year-old bad ass.
KC: I know that you use Kill Cliff products fairly regularly. Tell me about your experiences with our product.
WD: I used to buy cans of Recovery after CrossFit workouts. They worked well for me and were a tasty reward at the back end of a workout. I had never used Endure until I used it in a race. I drank 8 bottles of Endure throughout the entirety of my 20-hour race.
I was amazed at how easy it was to drink and didn’t need other things to eat to give me the energy I needed. I didn’t feel bloated and was very energized and comfortable.
Want to know why Endure is so great? Click here to read an informative article by Steph Skeba (RD, CPT) that explains the science the drink and Palatinose (aka slow-releasing carbohydrates).
To learn more about the mission of USMES, click here!
For more information on Race Across America, click here!
“I don’t quit, and I don’t stop. I write that on my arm before my last 75-mile race. Once I think I’ve reached my limit I push myself to see how much further past my limit that I can go. You’re either going to have to pull me off the course or I’m going to pass out on the course.”