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Monday, September 25, 2006

What it takes to be an Ironman?

Aloha and welcome to Hawaii Ironman athletes and visitors

Hawaii Triathlon World Championship and What it takes to be an Ironman?

The Big Island is getting ready for the biggest event of the year…the countdown to this year Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championship has started. Who has not heard by now, there had to be a change made in the announced date for the Ironman due to the needs of cruise ships in Kailua Kona for using the Pier. Therefore, the World Triathlon Corporation announced in February 2006 that the 2006 Ford Ironman World Championship will take place on October 21 instead of 10/14/06, as originally planned. Hope you had time enough to reschedule your flights and Kona hotel or vacation rental reservation?!

Kohala Coast or Kona visitors can already watch early arrivals at their bike training on their way from Kailua Kona past the Kohala Coast Resorts through Kawaihae to the turning point at Hawi in North Kohala. Here is what the athletes have to accomplish during the Hawaii Ironman, one of the biggest endurance tests available around the globe. For most of the athletes, it is already their biggest accomplishment when they have made it through the qualification competition.


A 2.4mile ocean swim, 112mile bike race and 26.2mile run. Competitors have 17 hours to finish. Cutoff times are also applied to the swim (2:20 after start of race) and the bike (10:30 after the start of race.)

Kailua Kona, Hawaii. The swim segment begins and ends at the pier in Kailua. The bike race travels north on the Kona Coast to the small village of Hawi, and then returns along the same route to the new transition area at the King Kamehameha Hotel. The marathon course travels through Kailua and onto the same highway used for the bike race. Contestants run back into Kailua-Kona, coming down Alii Drive to the cheers of more than 25,000 people at the finish line.

Up to 2,000 competitors, ages 18-80, compete from 50-plus countries and all 50 states. Upwards of 50,000 competitors attempt to qualify at Ironman qualifying races worldwide. Another 4,000 enter the race lottery, which awards 150 slots to U.S. citizens and 50 slots to international athletes. In recognition of their athletic accomplishment, age group champions automatically qualified for the next year's race.

If you stay on the Kohala Coast but would like to watch the Big Island Ironman, leave your hotel or vacation rental early in the morning around 5:30am in order to find a parking lot in Kailua-Kona and a good position in Alii Drive for watching the most spectacular scene when thousands of participants jump in the Pacific Ocean at 7am for their 2.4mile swim…or if you are not an early birds but still would like to get a glimpse of the participants and feel the heat of the competition (and Hawaii!), drive their car to the junction of Hwy 19 and Hwy 270 to cheer the triathlon bikers on their way to Hawi (read the paper for more information on closed Hwy 19). Read more about the Ironman on the official Ironman Website.

The Hawaii Triathlon World Championship on the Big Island of Hawaii is a once in a lifetime experience you do not want to miss. So, don’t forget your hat, plenty of water and apply lots of sunscreen. Have your vocal cords in good shape and ready for lots of cheering! If you take some great Hawaii Triathlon photos, email us
kohalacoastweb@hotmail.com We are happy to post them on our Kohala Coast Vacation Guide Website. Mahalo and aloha, Pua

If you have not made your Kona or Kohala Coast accommodation reservation yet, may we can still help with a nice vacation rental. Visit the Vacation Guide and send us an email with your Big Island travel information.

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