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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Long Course Duathlon National Championship

National Championship for Long Course Duathlon 2015

"Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don't wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills.  Don't wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom." -Earl Shoaf

It was a long season that started in February with an indoor triathlon in Verona Wisconsin. It would end with a duathlon in Fort Worth Texas.

I raced the Long Course Duathlon National Championship on November 14th at the Texas Motor Speedway. I knew the distances of a 10 K run, 26 mile bike and 5 k run would be a challenge. I thought it would be good experience as I looked to tackle longer distances next year.

I also have family, a brother and sister-in-law in the Dallas area, the race was a good excuse for a visit. I would have a rare cheering section.  A race is always a good excuse for a visit.

It was cool at race time with temperature in the high 40's.  My concern was the wind, with predictions in the 20 mph range.

I was also concerned about how my ankles would hold up for the running since I had fought tendinitis all year.

The race went fairly well. The first run was two loops outside of the track.  I am really not a big fan of multiple loops, but I got to see my family multiple times.

The real challenge was the bike course. It was five loops on the road that circles the speedway grounds. Not very scenic and really really windy. I had the worst bike leg of all the women in my age group. I was not using my racing bike. Earlier in the year I had purchased a mid level road bike to use for travel races. I had upgraded to FLO racing wheels and this was it's first test.  This may not have been a great test due to the wind. I finished at 15.2 mph, quite a bit under the 18. 1 mph I did in a road race in August.

The second run was tough after the bike ride, but it was just a 5K and was quickly over.
3 hr 17 overall,
10K  1 hr 42:43
5 k 31:42

The most interesting thing about the event is what happened after the race. The event was scored as two events; an age group event for the National Championship and as a local race called Bronda's Duatlhon. The Bronda's portion had special awards for Master ( 40+), Grand Master (50+), Athena,  and Physically Challenged Open. I raced PC Open for this race. I notified the race director months in advance of my presence.  I started with the age group athletes and did not ask for any accommodation. I presented my para triathlon license at packet pick up.

When the awards were given out, the awards for the Bronda's Du were given out first.  All of the winners got nice plaques. There was no PC Open award. I went to the race director during a break and told him of the omission.  Someone was sent off and I was given a medal that looked like it was from another event.  Minor flaw, but I took it without complaint and it was a nice medal.

I stayed as all the age group winners were given their National Championship jerseys.  I went home knowing that I had secured a spot on the U.S. team for the World Championship. The top 18 are selected and I finished 7th out of 8 women in my age group.

The real problem started when the race director sent out a follow-up email with the results. I was not listed anywhere in the results and I wanted to see my splits.

I email the race director three times and still no results. I emailed the timing company twice and still no race results. Now I was getting concerned because invites would be going out for the U.S team and I was going to miss my change.  I was polite and respectful with every e-mail.

I emailed the manager of the U.S. team and no response. So finally I emailed the USAT para triathlon manager Amanda Duke Boulet.  She got results within and day and I am finally listed in the results.

I contacted Amanda because I suspect they had doubts about my PC status. It has happened to me before, I had worse treatment at the New York Triathlon.

 Instead of asking me about it and maybe learning a bit about an invisible impairment, they left me off of the results.  I get that my impairment is not obvious, but I did send an email before the race explaining about my CMT.

Hopefully the race director learned a little bit. I am slow compared to all the other racers, but maybe I won by educating a race director about CMT and that all impairments are not visible.

In any case I have earned my second spot this year on  Team USA. First for Aquathlon in September in Cozumel and for Long Course Duathlon in North Carolina. The date for that is yet to be announced.

It was good to end 2015 on a high note. I am looking forward to good things in 2016!


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 1756 members in 31 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France 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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