Element Kona Celebration Sale 2017

Kona:  The Ironman Triathlon World Championships - 2017 Edition

Alii Drive in Kona Hawaii is a scenic waterfront road and promenade centered in the popular resort community of Kailua Kona, also called simply Kona. To many, Kona is a destination for its excellent snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, surfing and other water sports.  But for triathletes worldwide, Kona is best known as the site of the Ironman Triathlon World Championships, held annually in October.  In fact, the race and the location are so inextricably linked in the mindset of triathletes that the race is often just called “Kona”. The town, the community and the race are all on in our minds.

The entry to Historic Kailua Village begins on Alii Drive where its oceanfront promenade offers sweeping vistas of Kailua Bay. And this is where the race starts and finishes.  The swim start is held in Kailua Bay and the run finishes on fabled Ali’I Drive. 

The ancient settlement compound at Kamakahonu, where King Kamehameha ruled the kingdom from 1812-1819, once supported a compound of hale (thatched houses), fishponds and farm plots. Today, a reconstructed Ahuena Heiau (temple) sits adjacent to King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Hawaii’s first Christian missionaries came ashore at Kamakahonu in 1820 where the Kailua Pier now stands.  And it is this spot, Kailua Pier, where the bike transition lot sits on race day.

This race is so entrenched in the town of Kona that this sign on Ali’i Drive marks the start and finish line of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.  This is where many of us wish to be someday,whether it be as a participant, a spectator or as a volunteer. This year, that dream will come true for many of us in just a handful of days.  This year’s race goes off on Saturday, October 14th

The Swim:  2.4 miles

The Ironman swim is 2.4 miles and there is no swim in the sport of triathlon more legendary than the swim in Kona.  Crystal clear waters allow swimmers a spectacular view of tropical fish and sea turtles, not that anyone notices any of that race day!  The Kona swim starts in normally calm Kona Bay and is 2.4 miles of swimming in a washing machine.  But if you make it to the start line yourself, you'll realize in those few moments before the cannon goes off that the atmosphere here is like nothing else in this sport.  In the last minutes before the race start, you tread water surrounded by so many of the best athletes in the sport of triathlon with all the excited specators and volunteers, with the TV helicopters hovering overhead, the sun is rising over Mt Hualalai and you can do nothing but wait until the cannon signals the race start.  As anxious as you are, you will know that there is nowhere you'd rather be and that you are about to be part of something quite special.  



The Bike:  112 miles

The legendary Ironman Hawaii bike course runs through the lava fields from Kailua-Kona to Hawi and back.  Athletes are tested by the blistering heat radiating off the lava on the Queen Ka'ahumanu or "Queen K" highway and they are buffeted by the trade winds that can be fierce, gusty and mentally taxing.  It's never a question of "will it be windy?".  It's a matter of when the winds come an how strong they are. The winds vary in intensity throughout the day and at different sections of the Queen K.  They can seem at times calm (which might mean they are behind you, pushing you along the way) and they can be steady. Or their intensity can blow you across the highway and make you cling to your bike in a white-knuckled grasp.  It's crazy and it can make you wonder what you've gotten yourself into and the only way out is to finish what you've started.



The Run:  26.2 miles

Most of us who follow Ironman Hawaii have heard about every part of the Kona marathon. It starts from from the King K Hotel, heading down Ali'i drive through Kailua-Kona to Keahou and back towards the King K.  And that's just the first 10 miles.  Then, up Palani and out on to the Queen K Highway and out to the Natural Energy Lab where many races are decided for the pros. For age group athletes arriving later in the day when the sun is lower in the sky, the heat is less noticeable than the stunning skyline.   A gradual downhill to the turnaround can make it feel like a time of recovery during the race but reality sets in on the return trip.  From there, it is still a lot of running to do before you hit what might be the most amazing Ironman finish ever, back on Ali'i Drive.  It is totally worth all the work it took to get there.



The Race:  Celebrate all 140.6 Miles With Us On October 14th

On October 14, put a deposit on any 2017/2018 bike or buy any in stock bike and get a $140.60 (which represents the total race distance in miles in case you were wondering) Element Gift Card.  

And even if you aren't planning on buying a bike this year, drop by to enter a draw for another $140.60 Element Gift Card.  While you're here, we'll be playing the race live throughout the day so you can drop by and watch it with us on the big screen.   With the 4 hour time difference the race wraps up after Element closing time but we'll be staying here until the action wraps up and you are invited to stay and join us for pizza and wings and some race analysis courtesy of all the experts, yourself included.  We're looking forward to see you on race day!