NEW MADISON — A Tri-Village graduate soon will compete in an international triathlon in Denmark.
Dianna Bridges will take part, as a member of Team USA, in the Fynske Bank Multisport World Championships Festival, July 5 to 14. At the event, visitors from all over the world will experience five world championships and several side events within the same week wrapped in a huge international multisport festival.
The five world championships (duathlon, cross triathlon, aquathlon, aquabike and long distance triathlon) will be held in the cities of Odense, Svendborg and Middelfart across one of the most beautiful islands in the Northern hemisphere: Fyn.
“As a triathlete, I compete in swimming, then transition to the bike, then run,” Bridges said. “There are different distances, but my personal preference is the long distances: half and full Ironman distances (70.3 and 140.6 miles, respectively. A full Ironman is 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.4-mile run). Since transition times are included this means I wear a suit that can be worn the whole race.”
Bridges qualified for Team USA at the U.S. long course triathlon national championships held in Miami last year.
She grew up outside of New Madison, where her parents — Kent and Marilyn Bridges — still live.
“If you had asked me then about sports I would have laughed because I was definitely the girl trying to get out of gym. Band and horses were more my style then,” she said. “When I moved to Florida I stopped riding the horses. So I found bikes to be a great replacement. Once I started riding, a friend talked me into trying triathlon.”
“Now I bring a bike home with me and use the Greenville YMCA to maintain my swim whenever I visit,” Bridges added.
Despite now living in Florida, she still maintains her Darke County roots, including a connection to agriculture.
“My daughters both graduated from Tri Village also,” she said. “I’m sponsored by the Florida Beef Council as part of their Team Beef.”
A video from her finish at the Ironman Maryland has been viewed 5,000 times.
“It amazed me the strangers who messaged me to tell me how inspirational it was to them,” she said. “I think people don’t expect me to be out there doing things at this level because I don’t fit the normal ‘athlete’ image. I’m not a fast runner by any stretch, but I can put down fast times on my bike! My split at the half distance in Muncie, Indiana, last year was 2:43 for the 55 miles.”
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