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Monday, July 2, 2018

Bender Beer Garden 5K Run

"An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day"- Henry David Thoreau

If the walk is a great way to start the day, then a 5K run is a great way to end an evening.  I love evening runs, no early morning wake up call. I ran in the the Bender Park Beer Garden 5K on June 7th.

This series has been following a traveling beer garden to Milwaukee Country parks. This race was a chance to discover a new park. I had never been to Bender Park even though I worked right next door for four years. I had no idea this park even exited. It is truly a hidden gem on Lake Michigan.

There is a boat launch, pavilion and miles of bike trails with views of Lake Michigan.

I got to do a bit of a bike ride before the race to warm up and had the place practically to myself.

The evening was cold for June. The race time temperature was 53F with some wind. 

The race started with a climb up the road of a bluff with an elevation of 78 F. There was more adventure as we ran through the sand of a torn out parking lot.  The run was all on bike trails, so there was not traffic and the course was well marked.

We had one more trip down and back up another bluff. I am not sure why race directors love hills so much. Lots of people walk them. I take them as an opportunity to excel. I repeat to myself that I love hills and that I am a mountain goat.  That helps me to run strong and I always place well when I run a course with hills.

I finished in 30:59. Not great, but not too bad with the large hills.  I talked to another woman in my age group after the race. She was a couple of minutes faster than me so I figured I would not be in the top three. It was so cold and windy that I gave up waiting for awards. Wouldn't you know it, I placed 2nd in my age group.  Luck for me I was able to get my award at a race I worked as a volunteer.

It was a great night with a surprising result.  The race really was a great way to spend the evening.


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 and the book “Soup Sundays, A Journey Toward Healthy Eating”.

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, France, Ireland, 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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