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Monday, August 8, 2016

Race Report Beer Garden 5K- Will Run for Beer

If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control, myself. " -Stephen R. Covey
 I have not done many running events in the last 2 years.  I have been so busy training for national level events for triathlon that there was not much room for local events.

This year I decided to do a lot more local events. I am only doing one National Championship event this year in Florida in November.   I also decided the run portion of my triathlons has gotten so slow I needed to do something.

My solution is a few changes to my training and to do more local races. I did a 4 mile race on the 4th of July and had so much fun I signed up for a 5 K just three days later. It would be the day before my birthday and seemed a good way to celebrate.

 The Beer Garden 5K is a series of five races. Milwaukee has parks in all of the neighborhoods. Many of the early settlers to the city were of German heritage. Many of the parks had beer gardens in the summer. In recent years three of the parks have opened permanent summer gardens. There is also a county run traveling beer garden. It sets up at a county park for a few weeks and moves to another park.  The bars are trailers and the county sets up picnic tables. They have been hugely successful and are a real gathering spot for the local community.

This run series follows the traveling beer garden. The entry included a tee-shirt and a pint glass with a free Sprecher beer or root beer. It is also an evening event starting at 6:30 p,m.  No early morning wake up call or long drive.

I had missed the first two events. I signed up for number three because it was in Grant Park, a beautiful park not far from home.

I got there early to snag a spot in the closest parking lot.  I used my bike to do a 30 minute ride and then a short run with some sprints to warm-up. I lined up with about 1000 other runners.

I took off with the gun following my race plan to run for 4 to 5 minutes and then to do 2 minute intervals with 2 minutes rest.  My hamstrings were sore from the race just 3 days earlier.  My legs were also a little tired.  I kept with my plan and stopped at the water stop to pour water over myself.  I got a little tired during the last mile so I stopped doing the intervals and finished as best I could.

I crossed the finish line in about 28:41. I usually don't need to stay around for awards, but I knew my time might be good enough for 3rd place. So I hung out, had my root beer and chatted with some locals. It is a custom for strangers to share a table at the beer garden.  Well the awards came and went and my name was not called.  When I got home I checked the results and I had placed 4th, just 12 seconds out of 3rd.  If I had done the last few intervals I could have had 3rd. Still I felt good about my finish since there were probably 36-40 runners in my age group.

Best of all I had a blast and got in a good workout.  I signed up for the next installment on August 3rd.


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 represented Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and will represent the US at the World championship in Cozumel in 2016.

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.  She has won state championships in cycling and triathlon.

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 196 members in 37 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland 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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