Chris has an inspirational story as she was diagnosed with Charcot-Maire-Tooth (CMT) Disorder in 2009. Purported as the biggest disease no one has ever heard of, it actually affects 2.6 million people world wide. People diagnosed with the CMT nerve condition can often experience symptoms like: fatigue, sleep apnea, loss of sensation, difficulty with balance and walking, breathing difficulties and poor tolerance to cold temperatures.
Chris has experienced a number of these symptoms, so it really is quite remarkable that she can run and compete in triathlons at all. She has even qualified for the Paratriathlon National Championships in Austin, May 2014 and also for Team USA in her age group competing in the World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedra, Spain 2014.
One of main reasons for Chris taking up triathlon in the first place was knowing that she would not be able to run long distance forever, as CMT is a generative disease with no known cure.
This provides Chris with a strong sense of motivation to keep going, knowing how lucky she is just to be able to complete races and of course qualifying for the World Championships has boosted this motivation ever further.
Biking is her favourite discipline and her measure of success is how Chris feels when completing an event. The main goal for her is to have fun and lucky for her it almost always is.
As she is training for sprint distances, her swim training is kept to around 1000m per session and her favourite drill is practicing her kick technique with the kick board.
With regards to the race day preparation, her typical triathlon ‘go to’ breakfast is “oatmeal with raisins and chia seeds.”
No-one likes to be stressed or rushed just before the race, so Chris provides some great tips. “Get there early to set up” & “walk through the transition and figure the in and out sections for the swim, bike and run.”
Chris’ final piece of triathlon newbie advice is to “work on your weak link, especially if it is the swim and get yourself a wet suit.”
Thank you Chris for your motivational comments and good luck with your Championship events this year.