Amy Weinstein, 47, of Middleville is just one of the few athletes you’ll find on our course this year representing Team RWB (Red, White, and Blue). This is the first year Team RWB is representing on the Grand Rapids Triathlon course and we’re honored to have them join us. This special group is a team of veterans and the mission of Team RWB is “to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity”. We’re pleased to be a part of that mission.
Amy’s military career began in 1986 when she joined the Navy after graduating from high school. She served eight years on Active Duty and was stationed in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Maine. Amy served as a Hospital Corpsman and made it to the rank of E-5 (or HM2). Her efforts during Desert Shield/Storm in 1991 earned Amy the Navy Achievement Medal. She also served in the Reserves for two years. Amy became part of Team RWB several months ago when she met a MarineVeteran on Facebook through another running club.
The Navy is where Amy began her running career and 26 years later she hasn’t stopped, but she didn’t become a triathlete until 2009. At the time a friend asked her to participate with her in the sprint distance triathlon at Solana Beach Tri in California. They had both competed in running events before, but were looking for something new and challenging to do. To date, Amy has completed three sprint distance triathlons. It was at the Solana Beach Tri that Amy had her highlight triathlon moment. As Amy describes it, “The day of the race, Fletcher Cover had record breakin waves that were about 20 feet in height. They had doubled the lifeguards on duty because of the torturous waves. It was really scary. But what a rush to have completed that part.”
Amy’s biggest challenge is overcoming Avascular Necrosis, a form of Arthritis. She’s had to undergo surgery every year since 2010 and has had both hips and the left side of her jaw replaced, along with other issues with both her feet, hand, and elbow. “It has been a great adjustment in my body and mind. I get frustrated when I cannot do the movements I used to do, but am very grateful to still be able to get out there and do the things I love.”
A typical training week for Amy involves running almost daily, swimming at least twice a week, and biking some indoors. Once the cold snowy winter finished up Amy started adding brick workouts to her routine and gages her training in miles, not time. In a week her goal is 2 miles swimming, 30 miles on her bike, and 25 miles of running. Amy says she gets satisfaction from all three disciplines, but her favorite part is the swim. “I feel I get to zone out from the world and do some serious thinking.” To reward herself after hard training or a tough race, Amy loves to take a nap in the afternoon.
“Anyone who challenges themselves” is who inspires Amy. Her pre-race ritual involves having a beer the night before the race. “Not sure what it does but I have done this now for about 10 years.” This year those races included the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, 5/3rd Riverbank Run, along with the Grand Rapids Triathlon. “I would like to do an Olympic distance triathlon this year or next. My biggest goal is to be able to run the Marine Corps marathon this year in October.”
We wish Amy Weinstein and all the other members of Team RWB good luck at the Grand Rapids Triathlon. Thank you for being a part of our event and thank you for your service to our country.