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Two Race Days?! Ironman Team to Host Info Sessions in Light of Expanded Event This Year

By Tom Hasslinger
July 16, 2022, 2:00 PM HST
* Updated July 16, 11:17 AM
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ALI‘I FROM ABOVE: The onlooking crowd erupts as Jan Frodeno (DEU) becomes the first German to capture three IRONMAN World Championship titles crossing the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship finish line on Ali`i Drive in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on Saturday, Oct. 12. (Photo Credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Ironman is major event, no doubt about it.

The race has been a world famous spectacle for Kona for over 40 years, bringing thousands of visitors and notoriety to the Big Island every autumn.

But any local knows, not everyone is wild about what the race brings to Hawai‘i Island every year: crowds, closed streets, impacted businesses and inconvenience.

This year, after a three-year hiatus during the pandemic, the World Championship Race returns, but in a new format with two separate race days, which may mean double the inconvenience for some locals.

To help get the word out about the new format, the Ironman Hawai`i team is launching a new monthly in-person series, “Talk Story with Ironman” to engage and inform the local Kailua-Kona community about the race’s history and event logistics surrounding the first-ever two-day World Championship race format.

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Ironman announced in a press release this week that the new series kicks off Monday, July 18 starting at 5:30 p.m. at Courtyard by Marriot King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Ballroom. Free parking is available for everyone attending the session. Attendees will also have an opportunity to receive Ironman giveaways.

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The monthly hour-long talks are an opportunity to learn about Kailua-Kona’s iconic race and a chance to ask questions about the upcoming event, including road closures and race week logistics, the press release stated.

For the first time in its history, the race will be contested over two-days of racing on Thursday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 8.

The additional race day falls on a Thursday, a workday for most residents, whereas the previous years the one and only race was always on a Saturday. How that impacts businesses in town is yet to play out although several have told Big Island Now that they expect it to impact them greatly. Others have said they plan to close for the day.

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With an expected field of nearly 5,000 athletes, the largest in the event’s history, the woman’s professional field and age groups will race on Thursday and professional men’s race and majority of age groups will race on Saturday.

Info: visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship-2022.

Tom Hasslinger
Tom Hasslinger is a journalist who lives in Kailua-Kona. Prior to joining Big Island Now, he worked as the managing editor for West Hawaii Today and deputy editor for The Garden Island newspaper on Kauai. He's worked for over 15 years as a reporter for the Oahu-based Civil Beat news outlet, as well as in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Douglas Wyoming.
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