Categorized | Multi-sport, Sports

Ironman 70.3 Hawaii (May 31)



Created in 2004 in the footprint of its big sister, Ironman 70.3 Hawaii is the only qualifier for the Ironman World Championship held on island itself.

Nicknamed Honu, in honor of the Hawaiian green sea turtle, the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii offers competitors a beautiful venue. It starts with an open-ocean swim and follows with a challenging course that presents the opportunity to test oneself on the northern half of the Ironman bike course.

A highly competitive field of professional and age group athletes make the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii a mandatory race on their schedule because they know this event is the best way to prepare for the October championship in Kona.

Past Ironman champions that have participated at Honu include Craig Alexander, Chris McCormack, Tim DeBoom, and Michellie Jones in addition to multiple top finishers and world-class athletes.

Reign champion Alexander is slated to race again this year, along with Luke Bell. Top women include Julie Dibens and Kona’s own Bree Wee.

The race starts at 6:50 a.m. Saturday, with the first athletes expected to cross the finish line in little more than 4 hours. Awards ceremony is at 4 p.m.

The swim takes place at Hapuna Beach State Park, frequently listed as one of the best beaches in the United States with its warm, crystal blue waters, white sand, and occasional sightings of spinner dolphins and resident honu (turtles).

The bike course leads athletes along the infamous Queen Kaahumanu and Akoni Pule Highways towards the tiny northern town of Hawi, known for its unique boutiques, restaurants and galleries, and of course as the Ironman bike turn-around.

Athletes cycle their way through black lava fields and green pastures, ancient, historic Hawaiian heiau (temples), and modern wind farms that hint of the notorious and legendary Kamakani winds.

The hot and sunny run starts and finishes at the beautiful Fairmont Orchid and winds its way through the Mauna Lani Resort over modern golf greens, past ancient petroglyph fields and fishponds, and the historic Ala Loa Foot trail.

The post-race lawn party at The Fairmont Orchid is worth making it to the finish line. The host hotel goes all out to feed the hungry athletes but the real dessert is the championship slot allocations at the end of the day.

After the race, the island offers competitors a vacation playground with a variety of natural wonders to explore including rain forests, waterfalls, active volcanoes, black sand beaches, and abundant marine life.

There are 72 qualifying slots to the Ironman World Championship (28 international slots, 24 Big Island slots and 20 Hawaii state slots) and 40 qualifying slots to the Ironman World Championship in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

Complete list of participants:

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