Susie Rand-Weimer (Julia Bergman Photo)
Although Susie Rand-Weimer completed three marathons in 2011, she considers her greatest and preferred accomplishment to be raising her three children.
A lifelong resident of Roswell, Weimer, 40, fondly remembers her days growing up in the city. “My favorite memory is my dad’s truck driving up (to our house). When he drove up I knew it was time for dinner. So we’d all run home. I’d go home, my brother would go home. We’d all have dinner together,” she said.
Weimer became pregnant while attending Roswell High School, and transferred to University High her senior year to graduate. Despite this obstacle, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice from Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, and a master’s degree in counseling from ENMU-Portales. While traveling to Portales three nights a week for her master’s courses, Weimer worked full time as an athletic assistant and substitute teacher at RHS and raised her three children Mario, Victor and Amanda.
“People don’t realize how important it (education) is. You can do so much with it. If I didn’t have the education that I have, I would be in such a different place. It opens so many doors for you. You can do so many things with it,” she said.
Now a grandmother to Rebekah, 6, and Adrian, 3, Weimer says her own grandmother was her greatest inspiration. “The most positive person in my entire life was my grandma. She always believed in me and she always kept everything positive for me.”
Weimer currently operates her own business. Through a contract with the state, she works independently as a behavioral support consultant and provides services to individuals, mainly adults, who have developmental disabilities. Her clients have a range of behavioral issues that impede their quality of life. Weimer performs an assessment, identifies why the behavior is occurring and then writes a positive support plan. The plan trains staff and those who work with the individual, detailing how they should respond to certain behavioral situations. “The goal is to improve their quality of life, (give them) more opportunities at work, out in the community without those behaviors impeding their quality of life,” she said.
Weimer is a licensed mental health counselor and will take a test next month to become a licensed professional clinical counselor. This week she began teaching a course to special services students at ENMU-R on conflict mediation.
Now a passionate runner, Weimer’s interest in the sport started at the Golden Gate Bridge when she was 35. While on a week-long volunteer hiking trip in San Francisco, she decided to go for a run after her group drove over the Golden Gate Bridge. Strapping on her tennis shoes and a backpack, Weimer ran across the bridge, which she said spans 1.8 miles. It was the first run of her life. Weimer calls running, her “out, stress reliever and anti-drug.” She runs five days a week, reaching up to 18 miles on her long runs.
When she turned 40, Weimer ran the New York City Marathon in honor of her father, who passed away at age 39. After suffering a knee injury from a previous race, Weimer was uncertain if she would be able to qualify for the marathon. She was able to enter by joining with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Her oldest son, Mario, was diagnosed with JD at age 10. Weimer raised more than $3,500 for the foundation courtesy of support from friends and community members. She finished with a time of 4:10:37, crying once she crossed the finish line. Her husband Leroy, a great supporter of her running, was waiting for her when she finished.
The same year Weimer ran in the New York City Marathon, she completed marathons in Phoenix, and Surf City, N.C. She has completed three full marathons and more than 15 half-marathons. In April, she plans to run the Hollywood half-marathon dressed as Madonna.
“This year I’m turning 41 so I want to run Pike’s Peak (marathon). Every year I want to do something big in memory of my dad,” she said.