Of all the Islands that make up Hawaii, we at Venture Hawaii Rentals hold a special place in our hearts for the one we make our home, the Big Island. The Big Island is slightly different from the others, offering that lush and verdant green landscape that you have come to expect and has a more arid side, one with black fields of lava that contrast beautifully with the turquoise waters of the seas that surround us. But it’s more than the landscape that keeps us enchanted with our home and draws millions of visitors to our shores each year. It is the foods that are prepared at casual diners and fancy restaurants. It is the ability to swim in the sea in the morning and take a short drive up the mountain to play in the snow at the summit of Mauna Kea in the afternoon. And, perhaps the most exciting part of the Big Island is being able to watch or participate in the Ironman World Championship, held every October in Kailua Kona! Held on October 6-8 this year the festivities that lead up to this amazing sporting event are entertaining and enjoyable and the actual championship itself never ceases to amaze!
What is the Ironman?
Obviously, we aren’t talking about the Marvel movie character, and some of the less athletic of our Venture Hawaii Rentals guests may not actually have heard about this popular triathlon that features some of the world’s finest athletes and takes place in the heart of the Big Island. Consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and ending with a full marathon of 26.2-miles, it is quite apparent why only the top echelon of athletes participate, but the Aloha spirit reins supreme on the Big Island, and many local athletes get to participate as well. In the weeks prior, athletes start drifting onto the island, starting to train for the big event and it isn’t unusual to run into them practicing their stuff as we go about our daily business. The couch potatoes in our group are constantly amazed at the stamina and strength the athletes exhibit and although we aren’t amazed enough to consider joining in, we do appreciate them for their willingness to do so!
Leading up to the Ironman
As you might expect, the days leading up to the big event are filled with fun and frenzy, and one of our local traditions, the Kona Underpants Run, taking place on Tuesday, October 4th this year, is guaranteed to capture your interest! Dating back to 1998 to protest Speedos being worn in restaurants and stores, today this 1.5-mile fun run is a top fundraising event and keeps the laughter and smiles coming as runners compete in their underwear! There is no pre-registration this year, so if it interests you show up at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Parking lot starting at 5:30 AM in your wildest undies (proper running shoes are recommended) and join in the fun!
The Big Day
There is something impressive about seeing thousands of swimmers starting the event in Kailua Bay and if you want to be part of the excitement, we recommend you get there early! The professionals begin their swim, starting at 6:25 AM but bystanders have been known to get there as early as 4:30 AM to save their spots. The swim portion lasts about an hour (for the professionals; it can take longer for the amateurs) and dripping wet, they drag themselves from the bay to their bikes that are awaiting them. If you get the opportunity, drive along the Ironman Route ahead of time (copies of the course can be found here, and become even more amazed at the stamina of the men and women who compete in the show. The landscape is definitely more scenic than in other states holding Ironman or triathlon competitions and we sincerely hope its beauty helps take away some of the pain they must be feeling! Professionals generally finish this portion in about 4 to 5 hours; can you imagine the strength it takes to ride a bike 114 miles in just 4 hours? The running portion, 26.2 miles, is usually completed in about 2 hours by the professional athletes, which means that the top athletes in the world will actively be competing for 7 hours straight, but it can take as long as 16 hours for the amateurs which in our minds is quite an accomplishment! The high of crossing that finish line, an arch that marks the time and the name of every Ironman competitor, and hearing your name called must be amongst the most amazing feeling ever and you, dear guests, can be there to cheer them on!
You May Feel a Little Guilty
As competitors are practicing and performing, you will be living in the lap of luxury in our Venture Hawaii Rentals sanctuaries, which might make you feel a little guilty! Reserve your favorite today!