Mayor Kenoi to Compete in IRONMAN World Championships
Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi has already set a record even before the start of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona this Saturday…and he hasn’t even laced up his running shoes yet.
At age 45, a long way from being either the youngest (18) or oldest (84) among this year’s 2000 competitors, Kenoi will be the first Big Island mayor to ever attempt to tackle the punishing 140.6-mile triathlon.
The mayor has competed in other triathlons, but the IRONMAN World Championship is, by far, the most daunting.
Arguably the world’s toughest one-day sporting event, this race pits the world’s top endurance athletes in the biggest triathlon on Earth.
Kenoi and 61 other triathletes from the Aloha State will join competitors from 68 countries on six continents battling it out in the grueling race that starts at 7 a.m. with a 2.4-mile swim and transitions to a 112-mile bike race, followed by a full 26.2-mile marathon.
Top professional triathletes finish in about 8.5 hours and anyone crossing the finish line after midnight’s cut-off time of midnight will be disqualified.
Last year’s winner’s time was 8 hours, 12 minutes, and 29 seconds.
The twice-elected mayor recently said his experience officiating at the 2009 IRONMAN World Championship spurred him to dreams of becoming a triathlete, and about four years ago, he began training and competing at that level. To date, he has competed in the IRONMAN 70.3 Hawaii, Lavaman Keauhou, Lavaman Waikoloa, Hilo Triathlon and last spring’s Honu, the half IRONMAN race which takes place on the Kohala Coast.
Kenoi has trained especially hard for the IRONMAN World Championships. He has shed 30 pounds and is bent on crossing the finish line before midnight’s cut-off time.