IRONMAN Kona, 8 facts!

This competition is not for everyone: The IRONMAN in KONA, HAWAII. Only the best will appear at the start, both in the category of recreant, as well as top athletes. Whoever wins, will be able to call himself or herself world champion triathlonfor a year. What makes this triathlon so special, who can participate and who of our own BMC Vifit Sport pro triathlon team will be at the start on October 13th? Read 8 Ironman Kona facts below! 

Fact 1: The IRONMAN (IM) in Kona is the triathlon of the year.

The race concerns the Ironman World Championships. Most triathletes have lived towards this race event the whole year. Heavy training sessions and competitions preceded this moment. You can imagine there is a lot of tension involved...

Fact 2: The first world championship triathlon was held in 1978 in Kona.

Why in Kona? Probably because this is where the triathlon originated in its current form.

Fact 3: the IM in Kona concerns the full distance triathlon. 

Just to be clear, this means:

  • 3,86km of swimming
  • 180,2km of cycling
  • 42,195km (marathon) of running

Whether this is even humanly feasible? You would almost start to doubt it... ;)

Fact 4: About 2500 athletes will appear at the start Saturday, October 13th.

Of these 2500 athletes, the majority are recreants. About 100 of the participants are elite-athletes, who compete for the title "world champion".

Fact 5: To participate, you need to qualify.

Simply ‘applying’ for the Ironman in Kona is almost certainly not going to get you anywhere. You can only participate in this competition if you have qualified yourself for it. You may do this by participating in official IMs throughout the year. During these games you can score points that may get you a starting ticket for Kona.

Fact 6: the IM in Kona is not just difficult, but extremely DIFFICULT. 

As if the normal finishing of an Ironman is not difficult enough, there is still a considerable extra dose of difficulty in Kona. The enormous heat (30 degrees Celsius), high humidity, strong wind and tough surface make this triathlon even more challenging than many other triathlons. This requires a very good training and planning in the field of nutrition, hydration and racing!

Fact 7: You have a maximum of 17 hours to complete the IM in Kona.

If you join the IM in Kona, you will be given a maximum of 17 hours to complete it. Does this come close to the average finish time of an elite-athlete? No. An average well trained athlete will take about 12 hours on completing a ‘normal’ Ironman (we are not even talking about Kona yet). Male elite-athletes will manage this in about 8 hours. The female top athletes are expected to finish the entire IM in Kona in about 9 hours. Crazy!

Fact 8: From our own BMC Vifit Sport pro triathlon team, 7 athletes will participate in Kona.

Of our team, 7 out of 8 athletes have qualified for Kona. Unfortunately, one athlete could not qualify himself because of an injury. Do the qualified athletes look forward to the race in Kona and are they nervous? Read all the interviews with the athletes here!


Author: Monique van de Velde, on behalf of Vifit Sport

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