Ever wondered what it’s like to be on the Big Island in the week leading up to the Ironman World Championships? We sent Christie Sym out with a camera to capture the spirit of Kona and bring it back to you in your own lounge room. Grab a coffee and enjoy the view!
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A Californian age grouper here to race his first Ironman after qualifying at Honu 70.3 – I told him “you’ll be fine mate”
Daylight Mind barista bar – the “new” cool kid hangout and one of the few places you’ll find a decent flat white or cappuccino here in Kona
A quiet beach a few hundred meters past the half way point of the swim on the way out. We swam from here on Friday and managed to avoid the shallow rock shelf.
The view from Daylight Mind cafe looking back towards Kona Pier
Walking up the street towards Lava Java from the Ironman Expo
The hotel in the background is the Royal Kona Resort, and the swim heads straight out just to the right of this photo.
Athletes of all ages, sizes, nationalities and backgrounds run and ride along Ali’i drive during race week. This road will be closed come race day and is the location of much suffering under the hot Hawaiian sun as the marathon unfolds.
Lava Java is always buzzing with activity. You’re sure to find some pro’s, & their coaches, and the rest of the Ironman racing & supporting community!
Big Island Running Company – for all your running needs!
Pete Jacobs mum & dad are here to support PJ as always!
Kona is not just for athletes, it’s family friendly too!
Bubs even join in on the fun of race week!
John Cobb (2nd from right) may potentially know more about women’s need for cycling than any woman does.
Looking down over “hot corner” where many spectators will be on race day for the best viewing spot for the bike heading out of town, and returning many hours later.
James Cunnama gets in some laps whilst the pool is quiet. The Kona swimming pool is completely free to swim at.
Jarad Medhurst, first time Kona age grouper and his mum at Daylight Mind grabbing a coffee after driving out to Hawi.
Andrew Starykowicz with wife Jill. Andrew will do everything in his power (and beyond) to cause the male pro field pain on the bike tomorrow. He will race on the rivet until he crosses the line, or literally passes out!
Some local artwork on display along Ali’i drive. Race week is the biggest trading week on the island for locals.
Scott Bikes set up base at Bongo Ben’s, a cafe come cafe style restaurant at night. Race week specials included meals designed by Scott sponsored athletes.
Meal deals can be found all over town, especially in the centre of town down Ali’i drive
It’s tough looking out at this view each day. Here we look out from Lava Java back towards the pier where the swim starts.
One of many selections of cafe’s to enjoy a local Kona coffee
A bit tired of triathlon talk? Perhaps join the locals for some DJ Bodie Mixxxxxing?
There’s always Subway….
Hanging out at Lava Java
Sean Watkins, partner of professional triathlete Heather Jackson, has just launched his own brand and showcased it here this week.
A Luke McKenzie fan resting their feet at Lava Java
All kinds of “fancy” attire can be found being worn on Ali’i Drive
A look down Ali’i drive, just outside the expo. Athletes will run down here on race day before turning right to head up to the Highway
A glimpse of the expo from the Farmers Market
A brand new church is being built directly opposite the Ironman Expo. Athletes can buy a tile to become a permanent feature of the community garden being constructed.
Details of the tiles for the Kona church community garden – if your interested please send us an email at Trizone and we can put you in touch. I believe they are taking orders up to December 2014.
Unofficial partners set up their race week stands along Ali’i Drive. Here we have TP Therapy, Rudy Project and Cobb Cycles.
Work doesn’t stop for the locals, ensuring the street is kept in order as thousands of people who flood into town.
Athlete registration time!
Athlete check in: check your name and number please!
A look up towards the mountains of Kona. It is often raining up there when it’s sunny and steaming hot in town.
Andrew Messick delivering his speech at the Ironman World Championship press conference on Thursday.
Defending men’s champion Frederick Van Lierde addressed the media at the pro press conference
Sister Madonna Buddha is in Kona racing again at 84 years of age.
NASA astronauts Luca Parmitano (left) & Chris Cassidy address the media.
Alex Zanardi, former cart champion and paralympian , will be racing Kona to finish!
The palm tree’s were blowing in the strong winds on Thursday. Here we are at Dig Me beach adjacent to the Kona Pier and swim start
With Kona Pier and Dig Me beach to the left, this little beach is filled with athletes families during race week.
Endless Pools were set up across from athlete Registration all week with free trial swims available to anyone sick of swimming in the beautiful ocean waters!
Ironman merchandise tent just outside athlete registration.
The names of each competitor can be found on this banner at the athlete registration area right behind the finish line.
Bike racking area down at athlete registration.
A few Cervelo’s parked whilst athletes check in.
Luke McKenzie supporter singlets and trucker hats could be seen around town.
Local charities make the most of race week, with athletes and their supporters giving generously to a town that has such an important place in Ironman history.
Banana’s are plentiful on the island of Kona.
Spectators will fill these cafe’s balconies on race day and night.
Donkey Balls – chocolate covered macadamia’s and Kona coffee are two specialty items purchased by tourists whilst in Kona
Mexican food features as local fare on the island of Kona.
SRAM sponsored Honda moto’s are providing technical support on the bike course on race day.
Spare wheels and mechanical support will be roaming on these moto’s on race day
A Scott Plasma on display at the Ironman Expo.
The new paint scheme of the Cervelo P5.
Cervelo offers a free service to all athletes riding a Cervelo on race day. This service runs from Tuesday through Friday bike check in.
Jason Losey of Cervelo working on an athletes bike at the Cervelo tent in town.
Clif bar samples anyone? At the Ironman Expo.
Free Clif Bar samples are popular at the Ironman expo
Hoka showcased their shoes at the Ironman Expo
Betty Designs showcasing some of their custom designed triathlon and cycling apparel at the Ironman Expo
TriBike Transport brought a large number of athletes bikes across to Kona. They take the hassle out of flying with your bike to races in the USA, and are looking to come down under very soon.
Roka swim shorts on display
NormaTec had their recovery boots out for athletes to relax and recover leading into the race.
Athletes have gone bonkers over Bonk Breaker bars since their inception a few years ago.
Cruiser bikes feature almost as prominently as time trial bikes during race week in Kona.
Great to see the Melanoma foundation set up in the Ironman Expo.
This athlete is apparently a fan of Gu’s salted caramel flavoured gel
Local surfers and body boarders can be found when there’s a good wave, which there has been all week.
Those bold enough to brave the rocks head out for a swim about a mile up from the official race start.
A little beach about a mile along the swim course, which runs along the coast about 200m off shore.
Looking down Ali’i Drive back towards town the day prior to race start.
Looking down Ali’i Drive where athletes will run out of town on Saturday. Friday is generally a lot quieter on the streets down town.
A runner heading out on Ali’i drive about a mile out from Kona Pier
Looking down Ali’i Drive, a little rise in the road that athletes will run up on race day when heading out of town.
Palm tree’s are a prominent feature in Kona.
The Kona trolley delivers tourists and locals alike around town.
Grant Giles of Aeromax coaching chatting to an athlete the day before kick off!
The Ironman Expo on Friday. Much quieter today as athletes put their feet up.
More of the Ironman Expo, including the Cervelo tent where bikes have been serviced all week.
Cold drinks are a necessity when in Kona.
Beautiful Lei’s for sale at the farmer’s market.
Fresh local produce is best purchased at the farmers market opposite the Ironman Expo.
Locally made clothing at the farmers market.
Where else would you see so many expensive time trial bikes leaning up against palm trees.
An athlete walking down to check in his bike.