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Saturday, May 17, 2014

2014 Race Schedule- Every Race Counts

Chris Wodke and Cheryl Monnat after the 2014 Boston Marathon

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to lead a life which he has imagined, he will meet success unexpected in uncommon hours." -Henry  David Thoreau

I've got a tentative race schedule for this race season.  This schedule was set after a lot of thought and discussion with my coach.

2014 Race Schedule
April 21                Boston Marathon, Boston, MA
June 2                  PATCO, Sprint Triathlon, Dallas
June 29                ITU Sprint Paratriathlon, Chicago
July 13                 Pewaukee Sprint Triathlon- Senior Olympics State Championship
July 19                 Paraduathlon National Championship, St. Paul
August 10            USAT AG National Sprint Championship, Milwaukee
August 17            Mid-east Regional Championship, Indiana
August 24            Chicago Para-triathlon Sprint
Sept 21                Paratriathlon National Championship, Tempe, AZ

For those who have been following my blog, you may notice the Age Group Duathlon World Championship in Spain is absent.  I struggled to get the planning done for the Spain trip. Planning a trip is second nature to me.  

It sounded cool to make the U.S. team and would have made for great stories and pictures. The trip had become a bit about ego and is not really in line with my goals. Originally the National Championship was going to be Memorial weekend and I was going to fly to Spain from Dallas mid week for the race in Spain on Sunday. It also seemed like lots of expense and energy expended for a race that would not get me closer to my goal.  I figured it would cost about $4000 to do this race and there has been enough money out of my finances going to triathlon.  An overseas race to start the season was also probably not a good idea.  In Spain I had a chance of maybe finishing in the top half in my group. In Dallas I have a chance for a podium finish.

I knew PATCO, the Pan American Triathlon Championship was going to be in Dallas the same day as the Duathlon World Championship. If I raced there I would be racing as a paratriathlete, much more in line with my long term goals.  So I gave up an opportunity to race for Team USA as an age group athlete for a chance to race as a paratritathlete in Dallas.

I had to present a performance resume and apply for a spot.  I was accepted and if I clear the medical classification I will be a member of Team USA.  The new classification system will be used for the first time in the U.S. at this event. I am hopeful that this time my CMT will be accepted as an impairment. A manager for the U.S. team will be coming with me to the classification appointment.  If I am not accepted there will be no women representing our country in our category.  So all my fingers are crossed. If I do not classify in then I will compete in the Physically Challenged Open Division.  This division is now also eligible for World Championships.

Every race selected is to help me get just a bit closer to my goal of competing at the World Championship for para-duathlon and para-triathlon  All my race times go onto my performance resume.  To participate in any ITU World Championship, U.S. Nationals or even the Paralympic team in 2016, I will have to apply and present a solid record of performance. As my coach said to me this week, "Every race counts."

These races also prepare me for the U.S. Paratriathlon Sprint Championship in September. That is my A race for the season.  My coach and I will be working all summer to be ready. She has her work cut out for her turning a long distance runner into a true sprint triathlete. She tells me she sees potential and lots of up side. I hope she's right.

The one race that is the exception is the Pewaukee Sprint Triathlon, it is an non USAT race, but it is the Wisconsin State Championship for the Senior Olympics. I hope to advance to the National Games next year in St. Paul.  I am doing it to keep Team CMT member Louise Gerhardt company.  She particpated in past games in tennis. It would be great to see her there since I may not do the Boston Marathon next year. That is the one time of year I get to see her.  So even my fun races have a purpose.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 150 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

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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