The 2010 Ultraman endurance event started this morning off of Kona Pier at 6:30AM. The event is a 3-day, 320-mile (515-kilometer) race held annually over Thanksgiving weekend. Thirty-five athletes from around the world are participating his year..
The event began with a 6.2-mile (10 km) ocean swim from Kailua Bay to Keauhou Bay, followed by a 90-mile (145 km) bike ride from Keauhou Bay around the southern tip of the island via Route 11 to finish at Namakani Paio Park in the Volcanoes National Park. Tomorrow the racers have a 171.4-mi (276 km) bike ride, from Volcanoes National Park (Route 11) to Keaau, then a loop through Kalapana, Kapoho and Pahoa, and on through Hilo. From Hilo, the bikers will go north along the Hamakua Coast (Route 19) to Waimea, and over the Kohala Mountains via Route 250 to finish at the Kohala Village Inn on Hawi Road. The last day the Ultramen will do a 52.4-mile (84 km) double-marathon run from Hawi to Kona (via Route 19) and finish on the beach at the Old Airport State Park.
Look for bikers and runners in the next two days as the Ultraman race around the Big Island.