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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pioneer Sprint Triathlon

Team CMT has members in 12 states and England. So when I made a visit to Texas in July this year I thought it would be a good chance to meet Texas teammates Joyce Kelly and Morgan Johnson. Lunch seemed like a good idea. That was not good enough for Joyce.  She said I was going to do the Pioneer Sprint Triathlon in Denton Texas on July 31st.

I was a bit nervous about the swim part since I have only done 3 tri's and the open water swims freaked me out a bit. No problem, this was a pool swim.  Then there was the problem of not having a bike. Joyce arranged for a rental for me from Richardson bikes. I picked up a great Trek bike for the race and  I was all out of excuses.

So I dragged my sister in law out of bed at 4:30 in the morning for the drive to Denton.  We had to be set up and out of the transition area by 6:15.  Joyce was sidelined by sickness, but Morgan and I were still in.

Because I registered late, I was near the end of the line to get into the pool. Athletes entered the pool one at a time, every 7 or so seconds. We swam up the right side of the lane, went under the lane marker to get to the next lane. It was an easy 7 laps.  The race was seeded by time and most of the athletes around me were newbies.  Many were afraid of putting their face in the water or making it the whole way. Those of us with some experience pointed out the swimmers doing the breast and side stroke and those resting at the end of the lane.

 I wan't even in the pool yet and the lead athletes were already done with the bike and were heading out on the run.  My turn came for the swim. It was in the high 90's at the race start at 6:45. Even the water was warm in the outdoor pool. I passed several swimmers. The swim leg usually does not go so smoothly. I love pool swims. I was actually first in my age group in the swim.

    Next was the transition area, to don my Team CMT singlet and shoes.  The bike portion was 16 miles and was advertised as flat. Well sort of....there were several long climbs and the couse measured much longer than 16 miles on my bike computer. There were large patches of road that were really rough. It felt like riding over a washboard. My hands and feet were starting to go numb. That happens due to the CMT.  I finished in 1 hr 8 minutes.  Not too good, but I have been mostly running this summer.

Last up was the 5 K run. There were water stations every mile. They also gave out paper towels soaked in ice water. I have never had that on a run. It was much needed and appreciated.
It had to be over 100 F. It said 106 F on the car themometer on the way home.

I finished, got my finisher medal and found Team CMT members Joyce and Morgan. That was exciting because while we had exchanged many emails we had never met. They had just given out the age group awards and I noticed my time was better than the 1st place finisher. I went to tell the race director and they gave me a 3rd place award. The final results show me in 3rd. My final time was 1:51 good enough to qualify me for paranationals if I am certified. I had trained very little so I am happy with that showing.

It was great to run in such a fun and well organized race. I had a blast. I can't wait till I switch over to tri's next year. It was also fantastic to meet Joyce and Morgan.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

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