October 5, 2008. Well, Marnie signed-us-up as volunteers for the GREAT RACE called the Ironman! I’d read and watched videos about this great race, but until you’ve driven the route these great athletes are facing, you have NO idea. First of all, they will be jumping into the water in Kona for the first leg of the race. It’s just the very START of their day (2.4 Miles, 3.86 Kilometers.) Then, they’ll be faced with a bike race that is a WHOPPING 112 miles (180.2 KM) up the NW side of the Big Island (Hawaii Island) that will go past our turn-off to Waikoloa Village. This is just by the Blue Helicopter launch pads, and past the Queen and Kings, Mauna Lani, and Puako. Then, on their way back, they’ll be faced with a final 26.2 mile (42.2 KM) RUN that finishes-off in Kona, where the entire even began!
Can you believe it? Well, to give you an idea of what these gals and guys are up against, we think seriously prior to taking any of these rides. “Going to Kona” from Waikoloa Village is about a 45 minute car ride (one way,) which is only a fraction of their bike ride. And going from the airport into Kona is about a 15 minute drive (one way,)which, again, is only a fraction of their run. And the 2.4 mile swim? I wouldn’t even know how to explain it, other than WALKING from one end of Ali’i drive and back is enough to make me fall asleep quickly at night, and I’m sure that’s only a 1/2 or 1 mile at the most.
Driving to and from Kona gives me inspiration as I watch these serious athletes in training. They’re biking and running through Lave Fields and scorching sunlight. If they’re lucky, they’ll have a breeze, if not? Drink lots of water! Here’s the actual course info from Ironman’s website: Ironman Course