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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Winter Wonderland Triathlon- Just a Warm-up

"Yo were not born a winner and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself. " -Lou Holt

This is the 3rd year I participated in the Winter Wonderland Triathlon in Verona, Wisconsin.  It's a sprint triathlon with a 750 meter pool swim, a 12 mile computrainer bike ride and an outdoor 5K run.

The event is a qualifier for USA triathlon's Age Group National Championship in Omaha in August. It is also a qualifier for Collegiate Nationals. So over two days both college and age group athletes participate in this race.

When I looked at the start list I was listed as a PC or physically challenged athlete.  When I checked in the race director knew my name.  The race director listed me as PC because he knew I had raced PC in the past. I never thought anyone noticed me. I asked to be switched to an age group athlete to try and qualify for the national championship. There was only one other woman in my age group.

The race did not start out well when I could not fall asleep the night before the race.  I don't know why that happens. The race is really low key and I was not feeling stressed.  If anything stops me from doing races it will not be my CMT, it will be my inability to sleep before most races.

I think I was afraid of over-sleeping because I had to be at race check-in at 6 am.

The swim heats were by gender and age group.  I chatted with one Chris one of my triathlon friends and with some of the other ladies in my heat. The race started well. I kept up with the woman in the lane next to me until the last lap. She got me by about 1/2 a lap. My friend Chris said she was lapped by the woman in the lane next to her.  I was the last racer out of the pool.  swim time of 19:03

Next up was the bike race. I have not done much biking since my last race in November. I have been working out, but only biking about once a week.  So I knew my bike would not be great. I felt tired, no surprise from the lack of sleep.  My legs were dead.  I finished last of all the racers at 42:47.

The run was done by heats, so the seven women in my heat walked out to the start. It seemed far away and would have been nice if that had counted toward our race mileage. It was two loops in a park on a pretty flat course. I had flat courses because then I know how far behind I am.  I was over a 1/4 mile behind the next slowest runner.  As  I hit every turn around I smiled and told the volunteers someone has to be last. I started to feel a bit sorry for myself and then I remembers all the people that would love the chance to be able to run. I think of everyone I run for with CMT that is not blessed to be able to do what I can do.  So I remembered that as I crossed the finish line last. The volunteers were all so nice and encouraging. I finished the 5K in 31:11 a decent time for me. Again I was dead last.

I looked at the race results and I was absolutely last of all the racers. The last two years I finished ahead of many of the college students and even some of the age group athletes. Because age group nationals is not in Milwaukee this year the race was much smaller and the athletes much more hard core and more talented.

My over all time was 1 hr 33:01. Slower by quite a bit over the last two years, but still fast enough to qualify for Para-triathlon Nationals.

So this race was a good warm-up for the season. I start training this week for my 1/2 IM Aquabike in June (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike). The real work really begins.

I may have been last, but I had fun, met some nice people, had a good workout and raised some awareness for CMT.


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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