Monday, October 4, 2010

Kona readies for 2010 Ironman World Championships

Kona is alive with signs of the upcoming Ironman World Championship race. There are literally signs along the roads to remind us to make room for the bikers and runners as well as signs of sponsors pasted on buildings in Kailua Village and all along Ali’i Drive. Many of the 1800 athletes have already arrived filling the beaches, stores and roadways in the town, a great feeling after an overly quiet summer. The Ironman is considered the most challenging tri-athlete race and includes 2.4 miles of swimming in the rough ocean in Kailua Bay, 112 miles of biking from Kailua-Kona to Hawi and back, and 26.2 miles of running from Kailua-Kona to the Energy Lab and back.


Lots of part time residents have returned to Kona from the mainland to volunteer for the event. Excitement is growing as the town transforms into a race course with banners and country flags dotted along the route. Athletes and their support teams are everywhere running, biking and posing for photographers.


The extreme fitness of the athletes is turning the heads of everyone, including our own local athletes. Their ironman bodies are beyond the normal fit bodies we have come to admire in Kona. They have muscles that we have never seen on bodies and they make running look effortless.


We went for a swim yesterday at the pier and the water was the roughest we have seen in a long time. Hopefully, the water will be calmer, the vog scarce, and the day sunny for the race on Saturday.


The newspapers have printed maps of the closed roads for the race on Saturday which includes pretty much all the roads in the town. We are preparing to be pedestrians from Thursday through Sunday.


Other events associated with the Ironman start tomorrow, Tuesday October 5, 2010, with the Ford Ironman parade of Nations from 4-7PM. On Friday morning the 13th Annual underpants run, sponsored by BVD, takes place starting at the Kailua pier. We’ve heard that the locals started this run to mock the athletes running around in their skimpy workout clothes.

If you want to feel the excitement of the race, come cheer on the athletes at the Kailua Pier on Saturday morning.

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