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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Boston Marathon Bomber Sentence-No Comment

Boston Marathon, shortly before we heard about the finish line bombings

Every failure, every adversity, every heartache, comes with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”  Napoleon Hill

I had the radio on for my commute home on Friday afternoon. It was there that I heard Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsahaev had been sentenced to death for his part in the bombing.

A local TV anchor had left me a voice mail and a facebook message asking me to call him. Connecting the dots I'm guessing he wanted me to comment on the verdict.

I'd done quite a bit of media both when the bombing occurred and when I went back to run the race last year.

I messaged back to say I did not feel right about making a comment.  Comments belong to the members of the jury or even those affected. I was neither one of those.

I was on mile 23 when my guide got the first text on her cell phone alerting us to the bombing.  I was never in any danger.  I did not get to finish my race, really minor in the whole scheme of what happened that day.

 I did a radio interview the evening of the bombing and another while waiting for my flight. Reporters were waiting when I got off my flight in Milwaukee. I was happy to talk about what it was like to be in the city and my experiences along the course. I felt deeply for those affected and for the wonderful people in the towns all along the course that had come out to cheer for me. They treated my like a rock star and I was touched by it.

It did not seem right this time to do an interview. Three people lost their lives at the finish line and another later in the week on the MIT campus in Cambridge. I did not know any of them.  Over 200 spectators were injured at the finish line, 41 of them lost limbs. Who was I to comment about a just punishment for an incident that did not harm me?

I think about how this young bomber has wasted his life. He was in college and should have had a bright future. I wonder what could make someone go so wrong that he would set down a bomb behind 8 year old Martin Richard and kill him.  I do not understand how someone whose family we took into this country as refugees and who we supported financially could do this.

I do not disagree with the decision to execute, but it is not for me to comment if it will bring closure to the family members of those killed or if it will provide healing to those injured.  I have no right to an opinion.

Ask the people of Boston, ask those injured or those that lost someone.    I will always remember the incredible fans along the course in the three Boston Marathons I've run. They loved me as a runner.  The people of Boston opened their homes to runners locked out of their hotels, because they were at the crime scene.  Everyone killed or injured was a spectator that day. Just there to cheer us on as we full filled our Boston Marathon dreams.

Ask one of the church ladies that knit over 10,000 scarves to give to runners that returned to run in 2014. Each one included a blessing and a prayer for the runner. As it was placed on my neck, I was told I was being wrapped in courage and love.  Ask them how they can be so loving and positive in the face of such evil.

The people of Boston showed us the meaning of Boston Strong.  They could have stayed home out of fear, but they turned out over one million strong along the course last year. Together we showed the world that we will not live our lives in fear.   We took back the marathon. Ask them what they think about the verdict.

Because for me, my response will be no comment.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015.  

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

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 163 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, Scotland, 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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