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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Building a Race Resume

National Paratriathlon Sprint Championship Austin 2013

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."- John Quincy Adams

Last April the USAT announced there would be an ITU event for paratirathletes in San Diego. In order to participate in the event you had to apply and present a race resume. I had never heard of a race resume so I asked Amanda Duke the USAT Paratriathlon  Manager about it.  I have since learned that Team USA membership for Paraduathlon and Paratriathlon is based on a selection process which means you need to submit a race resume.

Basically it is the listing of races you have done and your placement. Well at least the good stuff. I have done lots of 5 and 10 K races, but they really don't matter to USAT. So those are not on this resume. I could use this resume for trying to get sponsors I suppose as well if I was inclined.

 So I realized I needed to start keeping track of my duathlon and triathlon races and my placement. I also got more diligent about asking to be scored as a paratriathlete. I actually had a really good year in 2013. Here is my race resume for the last two years.

Boston Marathon
April 15, 2012
2nd Mobility Impaired Division
 5 hr 27 minutes

Boston Marathon
April , 2013
Estimated finish  5 hrs 20 minutes

Cap Tex Tri
May 26, 2012
1st Open Physically Challenged Division
Paratriathlon National Sprint Championship

Cap Tex Tri
May 27, 2013
2nd Open Physically Challenged Division
Paratriathlon National Sprint Championship
750 m swim, 20 K bike, 5K run
1 hr 46 minute

Pleasant Prairie Triathlon
June 23, 2013
1st Paratriathlon Ambulatory Division Sprint Triathlon
750 m swim, 20 K bike, 5 K run

Pewaukee Lake Triathlon
July 14, 2013
1st Paratriathlon Division
500 m swim, 14.8 mile bike, 5 K run

Midwest Regional Paratriathlon Championship
July 21, 2013
Omaha, Nebraska
750 m swim, 20K bike, 5K run
1st Place Female

USAT Age Group National Championship
August 11, 2013
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
750 m Swim, 20K bike, 5K run
1 hr 41:07
32 out of 44 women

Chicago Triathlon- Paratriathlon Mid-east Regional Championship
August 25, 2013
750 m Swim, 14 mile bike, 5K run
1st place Female TRI 3
1 hr 51:45

Tri Rock Sprint Triathlon Lake Geneva
September 14, 2013
500 Meter Swim, 14.8 mile bike, 5K run
1st place Female Paratriathete
1 hr 49:05

USAT National Duathlon Sprint Championship ( Age Group)
October 26, 2013
Oro Valley, Arizona
2.5 K run, 17 K bike, 2.5 K run
1 hr 14:25
8th 55-59 Age Group
Qualified for Team USA and to compete in World Championship in Pontrevedre, Spain 2014

I now only race USAT  or ITU certified events because those are recognized for selection.  My goal is to be selected as a paratrithlete for Team USA and compete at the World Championships and maybe, just maybe at the Paralympics in 2016 in Rio.  The parlympics is a real long shot, but every race I do builds experience and my resume toward reaching my goal.

I have a reason for every race I do and it may have nothing to do with placing well. I ran the Age Group National Triathlon Championship here in Milwaukee because I wanted the experience of participating in a high profile race with age group athletes. I thought that intense competition would be good preparation for a World Championship appearance. In May of 2014 I will be racing at the Duathlon World Championships in Pontrevedre Spain. The experience here in Milwaukee will come in handy, I just did not know I would be able to use it so soon. The experience will be great if I get to the paratri World Championships or the Paralympics. I won't be intimidated by the race because I will have been there and done that.

My goal all depends on the new ITU Paratriathlon Classification system due to be announced in January of 2014.  I have heard rumors the category where I fit as a CMT affected athlete may be dropped. I have pleaded my case to the USAT committee reps and with the ITU. We have offered experts.  Time will tell.  My gut tells me I will once again be left on the sidelines. I hope they prove me wrong.

Even though I finished 8th at the National Duathlon Championship, I cannot be competitive at the highest levels due to the effects of my CMT.  As a paraduathlete I would complete against athletes with similar challenges.  At that level I have a chance to be among the very best in the world. It is chance any serious athlete would want. It is what keeps me working so hard.

Sometimes it feels a little hollow to be the first place paratriathlete when I am the only one in the category, however at Omaha I would have been first in my age group and I almost always finish in the top half of my age group.

I know that it is more important that I am still active and competing. I know first hand the benefit of staying active in slowing the progression of my CMT.  Having a race on my schedule motivates me to keep working out.

I hope we will be included in the new standards. It is important to me personally, but. it is so important for those affected by CMT to push themselves and stay active. Being an athlete helps to restore a sense of control and accomplishment that can be stolen bit by bit by CMT.  Being able to compete in these type of events will bring more challenged athletes into the sport. I want them to know the joy and accomplishment I feel everytime I race. I know what a blessing it is and how fleeting it might be.

I plan to keep competing, using races to raise awareness of CMT and being a role model for the CMT committee, if the ITU will just let me. After all I have the race resume for it.

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 137 members in 27 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. 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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