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Natatorium director competes in world triathlon competition for fourth year

Most would think a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run are torturous and nearly impossible to accomplish. However, New Mexico State University natatorium manager Danois "Danny" Montoya has done it four times in the Ironman Triathlon World Championships.

New Mexico State University natatorium manager Danois "Danny" Montoya recently returned from his fourth Ironman World Triathlon competition in Hawaii. (NMSU Photo by Daniella De Luca)

He returned from the day-long competition in Kona, Hawaii in early October after attaining a 10:31:00 time - about two hours behind the first racers to cross the finish line.

Unlike some competitors who aim to improve their time, Montoya said he instead uses each competition as a learning process to work on self-development.

"I use it as a vehicle for self-discovery and improvement. For me it's about overcoming obstacles," Montoya said. Although he admitted there were moments that he wanted to give up during competition, he persevered.

"For me, Ironman is a metaphor for life...you can't get too low on the lows or too high on the highs. You just have to keep going," he said. Inspiration and follow-through are what he has learned from mentors, coaches and family members his whole life. From a young age, he said he was aware that keeping a healthy body is a lifelong activity, and it is as important as a well-rounded education.

He teaches these principles to his staff and students. Montoya, a graduate of University of New Mexico, has been a member of the NMSU staff and natatorium manager for eight years.

"Being at NMSU has given me a big appreciation for the campus and community. The support (from them) is overwhelming," he said.

Montoya teaches swimming classes for the physical education department including a triathlon class for individuals who want to improve their swimming, running and biking techniques so they may one day compete in a triathlon.

When he is not teaching, managing the day-to-day operations at the natatorium or competing in a triathlon, he enjoys spending time with his wife and friends and family.