Best Deals in Kona - Day 8 Become an Ironman for a Day

Spend a day pretending to be an Ironman. Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Fish Hopper. Make sure to carb up. It will be an action filled day. After breakfast it is time for a swim. If you aren't already in your suit you can change at the pier. 

Get ready to swim the Ironman course. You do not need to swim the entire 2.4 mile course as it is an out and back with regular marker bouys. You can go as little as 1/3 mile all the way to 2.4 miles. If you start your swim anytime in the morning you will find the pier full of amatuer and professional swimmers. Chat with them and ask about the conditions of the day. Often there are dolphins swimming around the pier as well as an octopus, a honu, and a spotted eagle ray. If you need a rest after your swim, the King Kam beach next door is a nice place to catch some sun.

Next up is the bike. The Ironman distance is 112 miles. You can experience the course without all the distance. First you'll need a bike. You can rent one from Bike Works Kona. Start at the new Matsuyamas next to the airport. If you need to fuel up there are a lot of local goodies to purchase. Then, get ready to ride. Head north to Hawi until you need to turn around to head back. Again, the store is a great place for sustinance. 

The real Ironman bike course ends at the pier. After the athletes return their bikes to the pier they run  to the Energy Lab. Matsuyamas is in the Energy Lab. Store your bike and change into running shoes. You can either drive over to OTEC Beach or run. If you start from the beach and find the sand trail there is a 5k out and back that is breathtaking. 

You may not be an Ironman but now you get to see some of what the athletes endure. It is the event of a lifetime for many and it is an invitation only race. You have to qualify to compete. 

If you have the ability to travel to Kona in October during the race, please consider volunteering. I have volunteered at 2 Ironman and 1 Half Ironman and it is also an experience to remember.