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The star of a new reality show is also an avid triathlete.
A massive truck stop in the middle of Missouri isn’t where you’d expect to find a veteran triathlete, but this is where Joe Bechtold can be found most days. Bechtold, 44, is the general manager of Midway Truck Stop and Travel Plaza in Columbia and the star of the new show “Truck Stop Missouri” on the Travel Channel. When not overseeing the 12 businesses that make up Midway, Bechtold trains for triathlons, which he’s been competing in since college.
Bechtold took over the family business in 2000 after living in Australia for eight years, where he also trained and competed in tris. Married with two boys ages 4 and 6, everyone in the family races, and he’s inspired a few of his employees to take part in local events as well.
The Los Angeles Times caught up with Bechtold recently to find out what he loves about triathlons, and how he avoids eating truck stop food.
Q: How did you get into triathlons in the first place?
A: I was swimming competitively at the University of Missouri and a friend of mine on the team had done a tri. I thought, “how cool.” This was back in the ’80s and we rode steel bikes that didn’t have toe clips.
Read more: Latimes.com