Jeremy Amy was looking for his next challenge.
He was racing motocross bikes when he decided to buy a bicycle, and one day his UPS driver invited Amy to join his bike-riding group.
It was a turning point in his life.
“I thought I’d go over there and check it out,” Amy said. “I think was 35 at the time, and these 40-year-olds just spanked me really bad,” Amy said. “It sort of drove me to get better on the bicycle, and they were doing triathlons, so it sort of progressed from there.”
Since that day nine years ago, Amy has trained rigorously and competed in numerous triathlons. He recently qualified for the Ironman World Championship in St. George, Utah, where competitors in different age groups tackle 70.3 exhausting miles of swimming, running, and biking.
The race is on September 18.
“Honestly, it was a little overwhelming at first. It’s great, and I’ve been working toward this for nine years now,” Amy said about qualifying for the world championship. “So, it’s not just something I started and got lucky at. A lot of work goes into it, so it was very emotional.
“Making the world championship is like the icing on the cake.”
There are several Ironman events throughout the world, and each has qualifying spots for the Ironman World Championship. To be eligible to compete in the world championship, an athlete must have completed at least three Ironman events prior to the event the athlete is competing in.
Amy qualified for St. George after competing in an Ironman event in Roanoke, Virginia, in June. The competition was especially grueling, as the course went through the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“The mountain race was crazy because we were doing 46 mph when going down the side of the mountain and five mph up the mountain,” Amy said. “It really excited me, and I enjoy putting running, cycling, and running together.”
At first, Amy competed in triathlons for fun and to push himself, and a friend of his recommended Amy try Ironman competitions, so Amy gave it a shot.
He competed in a full Ironman competition, which is 140.6 miles. Still, Amy’s work schedule made it difficult for him to train for full Ironman competitions. So, he decided to compete in half Ironman competitions, but his ultimate goal is to one day qualify for the full Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Amy owns Diamond Concrete Cutting in Goldsboro, and he travels around the country working on airfields in places such as Corpus Christie, Texas, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Pensacola, Florida. He spends three weeks out of the month away from home before heading back home for a week.
Even with his work schedule, Amy finds time to train about 20 hours a week. He runs around 100-150 miles a week and runs around 30-40 miles a week while ensuring he has time for his family.
Amy and his family will even run in half marathons and triathlons together when he is back home.
“Swimming is the most difficult because staying out of town. I live in hotels probably 280 days out of the year, and right now with COVID, most hotel pools are shut down, so that’s the most challenging part,” Amy said. “So, I mainly focus on biking and running. It’s a balance, and it’s really hard, but you have to find the balance to prioritize everything and make it happen.
“My family’s support is super huge, and it’s a lot of fun when you can incorporate the whole family and not just do it yourself.”
Now that all of his training and competing have paid off, Amy is ready to compete with some of the best triathletes from all over the world.
“I’m shooting for top 200 and to do the best I can do,” Amy said.