140.6 Miles to glory
Twenty-five hundred miles off the western coast of the United States lies a tropical paradise in the Pacific renowned for its endless resort destinations, lush landscapes, and rich history. The largest of the eight Hawaiian Islands is also home to triathlon’s grand finale. The battle for the prestigious title of “Kona World Champion” has been waged on The Big Island since 1981.
An international contingent of athletes, from professionals to age groupers to those with disabilities, compete in a variety of qualifying races throughout the year with the hope of one day realizing their dream of crossing the finish line on Ali'i Drive in Kailua-Kona. Once there, the athletes swim 2.4 miles in the beautiful teal, yet far from calm waters of Kailua Bay, endure a 112-mile gut wrenching bike ride through scorching lava fields and unforgiving trade winds on the notorious Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway, all topped-off by a full marathon across a variety of utterly treacherous conditions.
To the layperson, the idea of pushing your body to its physical limit seems irrational. Most would rather sit on the beach in Hawaii, sipping a Mai Tai and bronzing their skin. It is a mystery why any sane person would come to such a beautiful place to endure such brutal, self-inflicted pain, but for an elite endurance athlete, the World Championship is the pinnacle of sport. Marathons have become less esteemed; century rides a more common accomplishment. The human body is capable of so much more, so to test the limits of their physical and mental being, to say “I survived Kona," is something only a small percentage of the population can claim as their own. For that reason alone, Kona has become the setting for one of the most inspiring and admired sporting events in the world. Oakley invites you to follow three of the sport's greatest champions on a narrated journey through the World Championship course.
QUEEN KA'AHUMANU HIGHWAY
TURNAROUND AT HAWI
PALANI ROAD ON FOOT
ROUND 2 ON THE QUEEN K
CROSSING THE LINE
"Congratulations, you are an Ironman!"