The Ironman World Championship starts with a 2.4 mile swim which begins and ends at the Kailua Kona Pier in town. The race then continues with a gruelling 112 mile bike ride in which competitors head north through extremely hot lava fields, ferocious wind gusts and scorching hot temperatures. Once the racers reach Hawi, a small village on the northern part of the Big Island, it is time to turn around and head back the same way. Once back in Kona, the marathon portion of the race begins. The 26.2 mile marathon course is set up on the same highway that is used for the biking portion of the race. The race ends on Alii Drive in Kona. Those who survive the gruelling 140.6 mile race are met by thousands of cheering fans at the finish line.
The Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona is an invite only competition. Athletes must compete in Ironman competitions across the world and place within the top ranks depending on their age group in order to qualify for the event here in Kona. This means that for almost a month, Kona is home to some of the best athletes from all around the world.
This two-day event will see professional women race on Thursday, October 6, 2022 and professional men race on Saturday, October 8, 2022, and age groupers distributed between the two days.
In the women’s race Daniele Ryf leads the pack as the favourite to take victory once again after taking the title in fantastic fashion in St George earlier in the year. Parcours athletes Laura Siddall and Fenella Langridge are also coming into the race after a successful season with top 10s in St George and podiums in Challenge Roth and Challenge Puerto Varas alike.
As for predictions in the men’s race it’s hard to look past Kristian Blummenfelt. The Kona terrain suits the reigning World Champion and looks to have more in the bank to bring out when racing kicks off. Parcours athlete Kyle Smith will be looking to build on this 11th place in St George back in March where he led off the bike into T2 putting on a storming display!
Whilst these may only be predictions, it’s now not long before we will be able to see the races play out for ourselves. Keep an eye on our social channels for all the Parcours Kona athletes and also some very exciting news coming soon too…
The Kona lowdown
- by Amy Marks
- 26 September, 2022
- 2 min read