TriathlonLife: Amazing Ariane

A determined Ariane Monticeli finished Ironman Switzerland last weekend to earn herself a spot on the start line for the Ironman World Championship. The Brazilian endured the pain of a broken foot to earn her Kona slot.

| July 28, 2016 | PERSONALITY

Ariane Monticeli 2015 Brazil finish line 2 | Ariane Monticeli celebrates at the finish line of the Ironman South American Championship Brazil.

Ariane Monticeli celebrates at the finish line of the Ironman South American Championship Brazil.

Photo >@rodtri /

How much pain would you endure to get yourself a slot for Kona? If your name is Ariane Monticeli, the answer to that question would be "a lot."

Last year Monticeli had her Kona slot sewn up in May. She ran an incredible 2:56 marathon, enough to overcome a 10-minute deficit off the bike, to take  the Ironman South American Championship Brazil. (She doesn't look excited in that picture, does she?)

This year she was fourth in Brazil. That left her needing some points in order to get herself to the big show, which is why she toed the line in Switzerland last weekend.

Monticeli figured she needed to come in the top five to get herself that coveted Kona slot. As she took her first step into the water in Lake Zurich she hit a stone and, she’d learn later, broke her foot.

“It didn’t hurt on the bike,” she says, “but on the run it was painful, for sure. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I did it to get my qualifying spot for Kona. I just had that in my head.”

Despite the pain Monticeli hung in through the marathon, running a 3:20 split and passing Canada’s Karen Thibodeau in the closing stages of the race to nail that fifth-place finish by just 31 seconds.

Monticeli has been a pro since she quit her job as a flight attendant in 2012. She started in the sport in 2008. It should come as no surprise that she’d endure a broken foot to get to the line. During her early days in the sport it wasn’t unusual to get off a transatlantic flight and train through the night to maintain her fitness.

“We are capable of anything,” she wrote on her Facebook page earlier this week.

Well, Ariane, you certainly are. Good luck on the Big Island in a few months.