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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Race Report- USAT Age Group Triathlon National Championship

Cheryl Kearney and Chris Wodke at USAT Triathlon Championship

“I’ve failed over and over in my life, that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

It was a pretty busy weekend for me in Milwaukee. I joined Team CMT members Cheryl Kearney and Kevin Klein at the USAT Age Group National Championship here in Milwaukee. It was a full weekend of events for me.

First there was the practice swim. My coach works for Peak Performance Professionals-P3 and they had a tent at the event expo. The expo was right at Lake Michigan which was a perfect spot for it.

The members of P3 have worked really hard both this year and last to bring this event to Milwaukee. A number of my fellow P3 athletes raced and we all gathered before the practice swim for a group picture.

I even wore my P3 kit for the occasion. No matter since I would wear Team CMT kit for the actual race.  I took the afternoon off from work to do the practice swim. There were so many athletes on the dock it was hard to get through, but not that many were in the water. I jumped in and was worried the water was too cold, but after a few strokes it felt just perfect.  I swam the sprint course, after I got out, I ran into my teammate and we got a picture. I had so many friends racing this weekend it was hard not to run into someone I knew.

Cheryl raced on Saturday in the Olympic distance race and I was volunteering at the finish line and got to see her and a lot of other friends finish. I worked as an athlete escort. It was my job to take the winning woman to the drug tent for testing. When I was done with that I came back and worked handing out water and Gatorade at the finish.   It was lots of fun.  

My first aid training came in handy. I've worked the finish of several marathons and it is not unusual to see a few athlete stagger at the finish.  On Saturday it seemed like athlete after athlete was having a bit of trouble. Many struggled to stay on their feet or keep walking. I know I alerted the medical staff to several athletes that needed help.  We all got lovely green shirts for volunteering, much better than the blinding orange ones we got last year.

My race was Sunday and was a bit of a disappointment.  My swim was about the same as last year and my run was a minute faster. The bad news was I had some bike issues. An under inflated back tire and a rubbing brake meant a really slow bike time.  I was 16 minutes slower than last year.  I did not have a good time at all, but Cheryl was there to cheer me on and I finished.  

 It was a beginner mistake to have a low tire. I'll just chalk it up to experience and do better next time. We never did find teammate Kevin, there were 1500 athletes competing so it is easy to miss someone.
I'd worked really hard to be ready for the race, but I've got Chicago coming up in a few weeks. A bad race can be a learning experience as long as you don't repeat the same mistakes. So on to Chicago where I will represent Team CMT as a paratirathlete at the biggest triathlon in the country.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a 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. as a paratriathlete 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 152 members in 30 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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