Local Triathlete Profiles: Dawn Bartolini, Tri Right

Four different athletes with four unique stories share the love of one sport: Triathlon


Chicago Athlete: How did your triathlon journey begin?

Dawn Bartolini: I had a significant weight loss and life transformation; I released more than 100 pounds through nutritional cleansing and it gave me a different view on life. Then, a friend of mine suggested I do a triathlon because I already encouraged so many people through my journey. I thought it was crazy and I didn’t know how to swim, but I went ahead and did the Iron Girl Triathlon, and I made it alive. When I conquered the swim, I thought I could conquer anything and that kept me going.

CA: How did you come across Tri Right?

DB: Almost right after is when a friend recommended Coach MJ to me. Honestly, I was very intimidated by her because she was so good at what she does, but I soon learned she’s so normal like you and me. She really helped me learn to swim, and when I did Iron Girl again the next year, I took 27 minutes off my time.

CA: What is your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far?

DB: Finding the voice inside of me and not being afraid to share it. After all these years, I just really found out who I am with triathlon. With both my kids, I was the best team mom, I did everything, and I stood by my husband’s side in our business; I was always the right-hand man to so many but I didn’t cast my own vision so now I do, and help others to see their own light.

CA: What advice do you give to triathletes?

DB: Working with almost empty-nesters, I tell them that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, it just matters how you use it. I want other women in their 40’s to take time for themselves; go to bed early and wake up early for the 5 a.m. swim – if you don’t give yourself that time somebody else will take it.

Overall though, just never ever second guess yourself; live a life without doubt, because doubt is part of fear. It’s not just about exercising, it’s about the daily do and your vision for yourself.

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Holly's running career began in high school; after being bummed about not making the volleyball team her sophomore year, she decided to join some of her middle school friends on the cross country team. She also did track in the fall, where the 1600 m race was her niche. Since then, she has run several shorter distance races and two half marathons. Her goal for 2017 is to try a triathlon, and eventually do the Chicago Marathon. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism. Working at Chicago Athlete, Holly has been able to explore photography a lot more, which is one of her main hobbies. She enjoys taking photos at endurance races, and is also passionate about nature photography and portraiture.


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