Ironman Kona. The most iconic name among triathletes either long or short course.
If you’re new or a veteran, you’re familiar with the name and know the significance of Ironman Kona.
You’d understand how hard triathletes, pro or age-group, worked to get to the start line. And, the countless hours spent training and possibly recovering from injuries.
Every year, you watch the race and maybe even have a couple of friends or acquaintances that make it to the race. Or, you follow certain pro triathletes as they document their journeys on social media.
But, what is it really like to be a Kona?
And when does the cost entail?
And, who qualified?
We’ll fill you in on the details here whether you’re dreaming of making it to the start line or just want to appreciate the race and what the athletes endure during race day.
When is IRONMAN Kona 2022
Ironman Kona happens on October 6 & 8 in 2022. Typically, it occurs the first weekend of October every year.
In 2023, however, the Ironman Kona will be held on October 12 & 14.
Where is the Ironman Kona 2022
The Ironman World Championships is located on the west coast of the island of Hawaii in Kailua-Kona.
Every year, the island welcomes thousands of triathletes from around the world. The town becomes the training ground for all those who come early to check out the course, acclimate to the weather conditions, and want to meet other triathletes before the competition begins.
Ironman Kona Course
The Ironman Kona World Championship race is the standard full Ironman distance. It starts with a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike, and ends with a 26.2-mile marathon.
Ironman Kona Swim Course
The swim part of the course takes place in Kailua Bay. The course is one loop with two turns in the middle.
The course cuts the swimmer off after 2 hours and 20 minutes from an athlete’s designated swim time.
Ironman Kona Bike Course
The Ironman Kona bike course is a single 112 miles mile look with about 5800 feet of elevation. The triathletes bike right to Hawi, make a U-turn and then head back to transition in Kailua-Kona. The course is most famous for its crosswinds and rolling hills.
The Ironman Kona bike cut-off time is 2 hours and 20 minutes after an athlete’s designated start time. This includes time in transition.
Ironman Kona Run Course
The 26.2-mile run is also a single-loop course that has rolling hills. The run course is most famous for its extreme temperatures. The triathletes run until the energy lab and then back to the finish line in the Kailua-Kona. The energy lab part of the course is the hottest part of the course. The elevation is about 1000 feet.
The run cut-off time is 17 hours after the designated wave starts time.
Who Can participate
The professional triathletes can qualify for Kona in one of the following ways:
- Winning the Ironman World Championship will allow them one spot that is valid for 5 years
- Winning the previous 70.3 World Championship
- Finishing on the podium of the previous Ironman World Championship
- Earning a spot through one of the Ironman World Championship qualifying races.
If the athlete isn’t a professional, there are several ways to qualify for a slot:
How to qualify for Ironman Kona.
Ironman Kona Pro Men Start List
|M19||Rudy Von Berg||USA|
|M27||Tim Van Berkel||AUS|
|M29||Jan Van Berkel||SUI|
Ironman Kona Pro Women Start List
|F14||Gurutze Frades Larralde||ESP|
How Much does it cost to do Ironman Kona
The entry alone cost about $1050 plus fees for this year. However, in 2023, the entry fee will cost $1400 plus fees.
Additional costs are flying to and from the island, shipping a bike and other equipment, accommodation, meals, any money for site seeing, and of course emergency money.
A plane ticket to the big island is cost dependent since athletes come from all over the world to compete. A ticket could cost anywhere between $500-1000 USD depending on where the athlete is flying from and what day they are leaving.
Shipping a bike on the plane is around $50-150 depending on the airline. And, some people will use Tri Bike Transport which will ship the bike for the athlete. That service can cost $500 and up.
So, all the athlete needs to do is drop off the bike at a partner location and then pick it up at the venue. After the race, drop off the bike at the Tri Bike Transport hub.
Accommodations can vary depending on location and if the athlete is sharing a rental with other athletes. Also will depend on how many days the athlete is planning to stay on the island.
Food and site seeing could is also dependent on the athlete and what they have planned before and after the race.
Generally, athletes can spend at least $4500 between the race fee, flying and shipping a bike, accommodation, food, and site seeing.
How Much Do Ironman Kona Winners Make
The prize money for Kona depends on where an athlete is placed. The top winner can earn up to $125,000 and the 15th place finisher can walk away with $3000. This is even between the genders.
Interested in being involved with the race but don’t want to race?
You can volunteer and the race directors are always looking for volunteers on the course and in the days leading up to the event.
You can find volunteer opportunities at Athlete Adi Stations on either race day. They need volunteers on the bike and run course. And there’s even a special station for Profluids.
If you’re a pro at fixing bikes, there’s a need for bike mechanics.
Great at reading maps and directing people?
There is a volunteer spot to be a bike course guide!
And, of course, the volunteers are needed for clean-up after the race is done as well.
The best bet is to go to the website and look at all the volunteer spots available since we cannot go through the entire list itself. There are too many to choose from!