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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Miami Man Aquathlon-Warm-up Race

 "I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions." -Stephan Covey

I begin my race planning in the winter during my off season. The Miami Man National Championship race was one of the first ones I put on my calendar. The Miami race was going to be the perfect way to end a season that started with the Winter Triathlon in St Paul in February.

I had trained for 16 weeks to be ready for aqua bike/ long distance triathlon race on Sunday. Just two weeks before the race a aquathlon race was added on Saturday.

It is hard for me to pass up a race, when I am going to be in the area anyway.  I had nothing planned for Saturday so I thought why not. It would be a chance to see the swim and run course.  The swim and run would be half the distance of the Sunday race. So it seemed like a nice chance for a warm-up.

This would be my second aquathlon race of the season, meaning if I finished I would be eligible to be nationally ranked.  In the grand scheme of things it may not mean much, just a mental trick to get me out racing.  My other aquathlon race had been at the national championship in Austin Texas where I finished 9th in my age group.  I claimed a spot to the ITU World Championship in Fyn Denmark in July.

The race course in Miami will be used next year for the Aquathlon National Championship.  For that reason alone I would have expected a few athletes to sign up. Next year the Miami race will be a multi-sport festival with aquathlon, long course duathlon, aqua bike and long course triathlon.  Aquathlon has not really caught on yet, but maybe with moving the race to Miami next year will help.

Everything about this race was low key. We were told to bypass packet pick-up and go to the race director trailer at 9 am. When I got there they were not ready.  Once I picked up my packet I wondered over to transition.  The race would not be wet-suit legal so set-up was pretty easy.  This would be my longest swim without a wet suit. My longest was 1000 meters in Cozumel at the ITU world championship.

There would only be about 20 of us doing the race. We all got a small box to put our run stuff in. I stood around visiting with the other athletes and my feet were getting bitten by fire ants. I put on an extra pair of socks and decided I would swim in them because I remember from last year the swim exit was full of sharp stones.

I walked over to transition and watched while the course markers were being pulled into place by kayaks. I got to listen to a Canadian complain about Trump and the U.S health care system. There seems to be no escape from politics anywhere

It was soon time for the start and I lined up in the back of the pack.  The course is on a small lake in  Larry and Penny Thompson Park. For the race on Sunday it would be two loops. Today we would do one.  The swim was uneventful. I was one of the slower swimmers as usual. I don't seem to get much faster no matter how hard I work.

The run would be a few loops around the Lake and part of the Miami Zoo. There were so few of us on the run I even saw a fox.   The run was supposed to be 6.1 miles but one of the athletes told me his GPS said 6.8. I felt really strong on the run.  I even passed up a few people on the run.  I was racing as a PC athlete, so I did not really had any competition.  I finished and I had fun. It seemed to be a good decision to do a warm-up race.  This race was my insurance race in case things did not go well in the Sunday race. I was glad I did it.

Since the race I checked the national rankings for aquathlon and I am ranked 8th. So now I feel like it was even more worth it.


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 Championship.

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