After our recent post about '10 Best Hawaii vacation tips' today's post has vacation tips for those Hawaii visitors who are visiting Kona for the Big Island Ironman.
I can't believe it that another year has passed and Kona on the Big Island is once again preparing for its biggest Big Island event: the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon Ford World Championship. It's still 9 days to the Big Island competition of this biggest endurance race for triathletes in Kona Hawaii on October 9th but Kona is already hustling and bustling with hundreds of triathletes getting a feel for this year's race swimming the rough Pacific Ocean waters, running along Alii Dr or even trying a bike ride to Hawi.
Before I share my personal '5 Best Tips for Kona Big Island Ironman Visitors' with all of our Best Hawaii vacation fans, here is a great youtube video by everymantri.com which shows an interview with top triathletes like Craig Alexander, twice Ironman champion in the last two Big Island Ironman races. What does Craig think? Can he do it again? Get right into the Ironman mood with this interesting preview event video from Kailua-Kona Hawaii Big Island.
Having been to the Big Island Kona Ironman many times in the past, live and later on through TV and videos, here are 5 tips which pop up in my head for Hawaii visitors who visit Kona for the Ironman this year 2010:
1. When you stay at a Kona hotel downtown, don't even think about taking your car to get anywhere on the day of the Kona Ironman. You can't.
2. When you come from a place farther away on the Big Island, get early into Kailua-Kona like around 6am to secure a parking place and a good observation point in Alii Dr for watching the spectacle at 7am when thousands of swimmers jump in the ocean and fight for a top position. BTW, best top triathletes get a privileged early start before big crowd.
3. You stay on another Island and decide for last minute visit to Kona for Ironman and try to book a hotel room. Kona Hotels are solidly BOOKED for the Ironman weekend and most of the Ironman week. Try places north of Kona like vacation condos in Waikoloa Village (best rates, about 30min drive to Kona) or condos at Waikoloa Beach Resort (more expensive, about 30min drive to Kona). Another option for Ironman accommodations is South Kona.
4. Prepare yourselves for a long day in the hot Hawaii sun and heat: water, sun screen + hat are a must. Remember you'll have an early morning start and it will take a bit over 8hrs for the first men and about 9hrs for the first women to arrive at the finish line after the marathon.
5. Stay away from restaurants at the regular meal hours. They will be totally jammed. Plan your lunch for 2pm and your dinner for 9pm or even later. After the first huge Ironman excitement between 3 - 5 pm with lots of cheering, things calm down somewhat later but if you are in for the long haul, there are many more exciting moments coming before midnight when the Ironman cutoff (no more counting who comes in at what position) takes place.
Hope these 5 best tips for Kona Big Island Ironman visitors will help you make it through a day of unbelievable excitement and exhilaration. Aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacation
Last but not least, get yourself a Kona and Big Island West Coast map to make sure you know which roads or highways are closed for the Kona Ironman race on Sat. 10/9. Also see Ford Ironman World Championship Road restrictions from Kona to Hawi.
Big Island Ironman Related Posts
Ever wanted to visit Big Island Ironman for your Hawaii vacation
2009 Hawaii Kona Ironman Visitors Information
Kona Ironman ccommodations
Hawaii Ironman Triathlon Kailua Kona 2006