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Thursday, May 17, 2018

2017 Review- It Was a Very Good Year

"Sometimes it is the artist task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left." - Itzhak Perlman

I know it seems a  little crazy to be doing a review of 2017 in May.  I was downsized out of my job at the end of January and sometimes I wonder when I ever found the time to work.

I have been so busy job hunting it has consumed most of my time.  But I wanted to take just a minute to highlight some of the high points of my 2017 season.

I stopped competing after a bike accident because it was just not fun anymore.  My running times had slowed dramatically, I was constantly getting injured and my feet burned when I ran.  Still I kept running in case I ever needed to ramp up to competition again.

After my CMT diagnosis that is just what I did. CMT has continued to slow me and I am not the athlete I once was. But over the last 7 years since I re-entered competition there have been many highlights.

One of the high points came a few months ago when I received the certificate pictured at the top of the blog. I was named an All American by USA triathlon. This designation is given to the top 10% of athletes.   Aquathlon is one of the lesser raced disciplines.  I may not be the fastest athlete, but by picking a lesser raced discipline, I have been able to represent Team USA twice as an age group athlete. I will do so again this July in Denmark. I ended up being ranked 8th in the country among women in my age group.

USA Triathlon has been so supportive of the para-athlete community. They are the only national sports organization that supports competition at the grass roots level. They honored me this year by choosing me as one of their ambassadors. Only 44 were selected from a pool of 3300 applicants. My job is to promote the sport of triathlon. I am doing so by being an ambassador for the Wisconsin Senior Olympics, coaching for Girls on the Run and doing talks to local groups.

Another highlight was wining my age group for the short race series of my local running club the Badgerland Striders.  I also won 2nd in my age group for the Chilly Willy Run series.  Running in these races got me out of bed and to the race on some really cold mornings. Not bad for a girl that was yelled at during grade school relay races for being so slow.

My biggest race of the season was at the National Championship in Miami for Long Course triathlon.
I raced the 1/2 iron aqua bike and 1/2 iron triathlon.
The best part of the race was seeing fellow Team CMT member and former coach Joy De Caro. She would win the national championship for the aqua bike race and I won for the long distance race. It was not a great day for me since I struggled on the run, but I qualified for Team USA in both events.  I decided not to race either of them due to the expense. Just making the team helps keep me motivated and training.  I will be racing the Aquathlon event at the World Championship and that will have to be enough until I am working again.

It has been 7 years since the first race of Team CMT in April of 2010 in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. Since that day when we had three members we have grown to 213 members in 39 states and in Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland, Iran, Norway and Sweden. I am humbled by those that have joined in this fight to raise awareness, find treatments and a cure.  We run and compete for those that can't! We have raised thousands for CMT research and programs. We have raced at high profile races such as the Boston Marathon, Marine Corp Marathon and Bike New York.  I am so excited for 2018. I know it is going to be another great year!


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 213 members in 39 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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