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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wisconsin Senior Olympics

My haul from 2017 Wisconsin Senior Olympics

"A lot of times people look at the negative side of what they can't do. I always look on the positive side of what I can do." - Chuck Norris

This quote really sums up my feelings about racing at this years Wisconsin Senior Olympics.  For anyone not familiar, every state has athletic competitions for people 50 years and older.

Wisconsin has over two dozen sports including the two I participated in this year cycling and swimming.

The cycling races were on August 28th and 29th at Menomonee Park in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. I love this race because the course is closed to traffic. That means racers can go full out and ride the tangents with no worries about traffic.

The race is growing every year and is pretty competitive on the men's side. I knew I would have my work cut out for me this year. One of the women who aged up into my age group was training for Ironman Wisconsin. From racing against her in triathlons, I knew her cycling was faster than mine.

The first day was a 10 K time trial and a 20 K road race. For the time trial you line up and one racer goes off every 20 seconds. Women start first with the oldest riding first.  There were only three of us in my age group at the start. I relaxed thinking I at least had third.  Turns out someone in our age group was late to the start that none of us knew about. She ended up finishing 1st. I finished in 4th with the fastest time I have ever turned in for a 10 k at 20:21. 

Next up was the road race. Last year I was not able to catch up to any group and ended up riding by myself. This year I connected with a small group and we took turns drafting. It was so much fun, I felt like a real racer.  My time of 36:33 was my best ever but only good enough for 4th place. We were the only age group of women with more than three riders. Just my luck.

I came back for day two. The weather was humid and in the mid 80's. Perfect weather for racing.
First up was a 5 K time trial.  I sprinted from start to finish and got a time of 9:42. I missed out on 3rd place by 14 seconds.  I had one more chance to medal.

The 40 K race was up next. I was able to ride with the same group from day one. I watched the one of the women in our group go out fast.  I thought there was no way she could hold that pace. Our
group started working. We were doing 22-23 mph and it felt easy. It is like that when you have a pace line. The only fly in the ointment was one of the guys kept sticking his front wheel between me and my team member in front of me. I yelled at him to either get in or stay out. The half way in was dangerous. When he would get in he was too far off of the back wheel of the rider in front.

I was in 3rd place at that point, but it did not hold. The group got passed. When they sped up to cover, the guy in front of me did not hold to the back wheel of the rider in front like he was supposed to. So I got too far back of my group and could not catch them. I had a miserable last 6 miles of riding alone. My time of 1:25:37 was not too bad. 

Although I had four 4th place finishes I had a blast. I was able to keep up with the other riders. I was so close to 3rd. I was really happy with how well I rode. I cannot wait till next year when I move up to the 60-64 age group. I will be the fastest one in that group.

The swim meet was held at Shorewood high school on September 9th.  I was surprised at how nice the facilities were. They had a hot tub, sauna and warm-up pool. It was a great place for my first ever swim meet.  I competed in the novice division to get some experience for next year. Next year if I want to qualify for the National games I will have to race in the master's division.

You can do as many as five events. I did the following

100 backstroke  (2:13)
100 free style  (2:02)
50 side stroke  (1:17)
50 backstroke  ( 56:20)
50 free style  (54:12)

Most of the athletes were experienced swimmers, they started from the blocks and could do flip turns. My times will have to improve a bit if I want to compete at the national level. Everyone was really nice. I won three gold because I was the only one in my division and silver when I had some competition. I had a really close race in the novice 50 meter backstroke. For that race you all have an in water start.  I briefly talked to my competition at the start. It was her first swim meet as well.  I gave her a good race but she just edged me at the wall.  She was so excited she hugged me when we got out of the pool.

Everyone was so friendly, I got a chance to talk to many of the other athletes between events. The hot tub was a great place to stay warm between events and visit with the other swimmers. I know I have a lot of work to do to be ready for next year. I am excited to work on my swim and see how much I can improve. I was really please at how well I fit in as an athlete and that I could compete as well as I did.


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 and at the Aqua bike National Championship in 2016. She represented Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 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 as a senior Olympian. In 2017 she placed 2nd in her age group at the Winter Triathlon National Championship, earning a spot on Team USA for the World Champsionship.

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 217 members in 38 states. We also have members in Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland, Iran, Norway, Sweden and Ireland. 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

Follow CMT Author Chris Steinke

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