Underpants Run a Thursday Ironman Tradition
The Underpants Run is a quirky, yet popular and significant staple of Ironman week in Kona.
This year’s event happened on Thursday at 7:30 a.m., starting and ending at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel.
Event organizers say that the event was started back in 1998 as a protest against a rule that banned wearing Speedos in public places. From there, the event turned into a way for fellow triathletes to meet while taking a quick run or jog down Ali’i Drive.
Just as important is the charitable aspect of the event. Over $240,000 has been raised since 1998 for local charities. This year, organizers said that they would raise money through raffles for several products, including a Cannondale bicycle, Garmin GPS, Surftech stand-up paddle board, and more.
Thursday is also the last day for athletes to check-in for Saturday’s Ironman World Championship, presented by GoPro. Registration runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel in ballrooms 2, 3, and 4.
A welcome banquet will be held for the athletes in the hotel’s parking lot at 6 p.m., followed by a mandatory pre-race meeting at 8 p.m.