Ironman World Championship - Kona

Ironman World Championship - Kona
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Address 75-5646 Palani Road , Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
One word comes to mind when watching Ironman competition in Kona. Inspirational.

• General: Cost: Free • General: Photo Opportunity • General: Race / Competition • Water Activities: Water Sports • Vehicle Activities: Biking

The Ironman World Championship takes place every year in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii's Big Island. A total of 140.6 miles are traveled by the athletes during the competition. It starts off with a 2.4 mile swim in the open ocean, followed by a 112 mile bike ride. Then, to top it off, a 26.2 mile marathon. Not for wimps.

Athletes between the age of 18 to 81 participated in the 2013 event. (Yes, an 81 year old Japanese man crossed the finish line). The mantra for the Ironman competition is "Anything is Possible", and when you see an athlete with a prosthetic leg cross the finish line in under 17 hours, it makes you a believer.

Unlike some other sporting competitions, the crowds cheers for everyone. There is no taking sides. The environment feels positive and uplifting. Led by the an enthusiastic announcer who personally greets every athlete as they pass the finish line, the crowds roar to cheer them home.

And at midnight when the competition is officially over, it's just awesome to see the audience has not dissipated. They were there to cheer the last athlete cross the finish line. It's touching to see the faces of the Ironmen as their accomplishment has been achieved. You know it was brutal for them, and exhaustive pride emanates from them as they are greeted from the Ironman support volunteers.

If you have the opportunity to attend an Ironman competition anywhere in the world, go. But if you have a chance to attend the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, you're in for something really special.