Date of Birth: 8/26/1981
Born: Newport News, VA
Lives: Newport News, VA
Mid Distance (6-12 miles)
Long Distance (12+ miles)
OCR Coach: Self
Jason Wood was born in Newport News, Virginia and grew up playing sports alongside Allen Iverson and Mike Vick. He played baseball and football through high school and went on to play football at the University of the Cumberlands as a Defensive Back and Wide Receiver. Upon graduation, Jason was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. He was a decorated officer during his seven years of active duty that included three combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Among several awards he received, he was named the 2009 Transportation Corps Regimental Officer of the Year. He was also inducted into the Military Order of Saint Christopher and he received two Bronze Star Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge (Airborne). Jason now works for a Department of Defense contracting firm in Norfolk, VA and is passionate about OCR and all things fitness.
What was your first obstacle race and why did you do it?
My first obstacle course race was the Spartan Race Virginia Super in June of 2017. I remember being in a relatively tough place in my life and looking in the mirror and not liking the person staring back at me. I saw an advertisement for the race and decided to sign up, drive up to Arrington, and compete in the Open by myself. The slogan “You’ll know at the finish line” proved to be spot on. After that race I was hooked on OCR and have gradually improved not only my ranking and fitness, but my overall perspective on life.
What drives you to compete?
First and foremost, the primary person that drives everything I do in my life is my three-year-old daughter, Camila. Whether I’m out training on the trails or toeing the start line, she’s what I’m thinking about. I want to be an example to her of what a healthy lifestyle looks like and, ultimately, that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to if you put in the work.
If you could run an obstacle race anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I recently went on a trip to South America and the Amazon. There is some beautiful scenery there and all I could think of was how the terrain, scenery, and location would be awesome for OCR. Otherwise, I really want Tahoe!
What interesting fact do most fans of OCR not know about you?
In 2011, I was nominated for GQ Magazine's “Better Men Better World” search and in 2012 I was named as one of Richmond Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 for volunteer contributions to the community. I’m a firm believer in service and giving back, especially when it comes to the military veteran community. And yes, you read that right, this mug was once on the GQ Magazine website :)
Who is one of the OCR athletes you admire most and why?
Got to go with Robert Killian. Not only because of his military background, but because of the way he lives his life. The great thing about social media is that you have the opportunity to “know” people and gauge what’s most important to them. Robert is a shining example of a man that has his priorities straight.
If you hadn't found OCR, in what sport(s) would you be competing?
This is the toughest question! At 36, you’re certainly limited (unless you’re Tom Brady). I would likely be road racing, competing in triathlons (Ironman and Xterra are on the bucket list), or star of the local flag football team :)
What are your goals with OCR?
I really only started competing at the Elite level at the end of 2017 and having a few races under my belt, I would like to continue the upward trend. I’ve qualified for the OCR North American and World Championships as well as the Spartan North American Championship. For 2018, I REALLY want to qualify for the Spartan World Championship in Tahoe. Aside from rankings and championships, I feel like OCR can be a platform to allow me to continue to speak about military veteran topics and also be a brand ambassador for and gain sponsorships from some great organizations.