5 must dos in Kona

At the Ironman World Championship? Five things you have to do during race week in Kailua-Kona.

| October 9, 2017 | RACES

Photo >Nils Flieshardt / spomedis

Dig me beach early morning. When the sun comes out in Kona the athletes are already buzzing. Dig Me Beach (the world’s smallest beach), at the Kailua-Kona pier, is the epicentre of the morning’s activities where people come to the water to swim and shake out the muscles. (Or head if they have had too much excess the night before - read journos.) Each morning you can star spot, swim, head out to the coffee boat or look for turtles.

Lava Java. This one’s a bit of cliche but the ol' Lava Java (which is now a cafe just down the road from its old spot) has been cranking out caffeine to triathletes forever. It is also a spot to meet up and chat, swap stories, run by with your shirt off and generally eyeball people. It is a unique experience to just saunter up Alii Drive, past the locals and their markets and take in the sounds and sights of what will be a smoking hot place come race day. The mood around LJ is almost festive.

Undie Run. Wear the undies, take the oath, do the course and raise money. The Underpants Run is an institution thanks to Paul Huddle and Roch Frey, the event's two masterminds.

Run Palani. Palani hill is just a wonderful place, if you’re not running a marathon up it. At the 16 km point in the marathon, Palani is a leg breaker. On race day it is a great place to hang out. Prior to that, take a jog up it to really experience what a quad breaker it is. 

Finish line. There are finish lines and then there is Kona. Nothing in the world matches this real estate. Alii Drive morphs into a pulsating, vibrant morass of humanity goaded on by the "master in chief," Mike Reilly. Hang out at the finish line and get involved!