Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kona 2010 Ironman World Championship

The Ironman World Championships started early Saturday morning in Kailua-Kona. We set out at 5:30AM to claim a viewing spot on the seawall, an hour before the start of the swim race at 6:30AM. But the seawalls were already packed with thousands of people who had arrived even earlier to catch sight of the ironman swim race.  Every square inch of view of the bay was covered with layers of people.  The competitors entered the water to start the 2.4 miles of swimming in front of the pier.

The competitors waited in cold water for the gun to go off and start the swim.

The swimmers returned to Kailua pier after the long hard race in the water.

Volunteers in blue shirts greeted the swimmers on the beach next to the Kailua pier and helped them up the stairs to their bikes.

The swimmers mounted their bikes and started the 112 mile bike race past the King Kamehameha Hotel on Alii Drive.

Bikers weaved through the course at Kuakini highway and Palani road in Kona.

The most interesting aspect of the race was the huge support teams of family, friends and trainers that came with each of the 1800 competitors. They wore brightly colored T-shirts with the name and number of their ironman, drew encouraging messages in chalk along the race routes, and waited tirelessly to cheer their ironman.

Ironman spectators stood atop the ocean wall

Caroline Steffens (2nd place ironman) running the marathon part of the race along Ali'i Drive

The finish line of the Ironman World Championship on Alii Drive in Kona was covered with signs of the sponsors.

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