T-Minus 3 Days: Oakley’s Ironman Kona Athletes Gear Up for the Planet’s Premiere Endurance Event


The premiere – and most most intensely challenging – endurance sports event on the Planet is upon us.

Indeed, Ironman World Championships in Kona are less than three days away. And at the Oakley Athlete Safe House in Keauhou Bay – a splendidly tucked away property consisting of several mini-houses, picturesque scenery and its own dock on the water – the ‘calm before the storm’ is literally the feeling floating around in the salty air.

Former Ironman World Champion and current Oakley Triathlon Manager, Greg Welch, a maestro of sorts during the week of the revered competition every year, is busy showing extra care for the elite athletes walking in and out of the house in the days leading up to the race (on top of serving as “The Voice” of Ironman Kona for countless official functions, press conferences and the live web/telecasts).

Yes there are pep talks. Sure, there are pleasantries. But the most important part of each athlete’s visit to the Safe House is, of course, their gear selection.

Obviously relying on Oakley’s legendary performance eyewear – laced with more than 600 patents designed especially and scientifically for the top performance of our athletes Worldwide – our top team chargers are trying on new models, choosing lenses, picking specific tints, inquiring about the latest innovations designed for their well being on the course.

With eyewear parts being assembled right on the spot – and the most stylish lifestyle pieces being chosen for off-the-course – there’s no shortage of activity at the Safe House. It’s literally the place to be.

With some athletes, including Ironman favorite Andreas Raelert, actually staying onsite, the compound is the envy of the industry.

During the course of the week, camera crews are conducting photo shoots with the house’s splendid backdrop – from the crashing waves, coves to the dock itself, riddled with standup paddleboards on hand for athletes and Oakley staff. And the outside world is well aware of the property – even if they’ve never had the opportunity to see it with their own eyes. And yes, there are the occasional media events and functions that take place there before and after the race on Saturday.

But most importantly, the Safe House is there for one purpose…and one purpose only. To provide a place of solice for our athletes – clearly the best in the World – as they wind down and prepare for what is the most celebrated, and yes, the most insanely daunting endurance challenge anywhere.

While big events unfold in Downtown Kona – from Children’s Day, the Parade of Nations (where every country’s representatives march down the street to fanfare and raucous fans) to industry functions – Oakley’s house serves as a place to get away before vying for the coveted World Championship.

Check out the following video of the first days of the week – up to Wednesday morning – before the race!