A huge step forward: Ironman 70.3 on for tomorrow

  • Triathletes participate in the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii race in 2016. (West Hawaii Today/File Photo)

The 2021 Ironman 70.3 Hawaii race is officially ON!

Tomorrow will be a day that athletes have been patiently waiting for since COVID-19 forced the postponement and cancellation of all big sporting events across the island. It will be the Big Island’s first large-scale triathlon event and you can bet, everyone is pumped and ready to go.

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Locally known as Honu, Saturday’s Ironman 70.3 Hawaii triathlon race features a new swim course and a revised route for the bike and run that will be centered on the grounds of the host hotel, Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii.

The race begins with a 1.2-mile swim at beautiful Pauoa Bay — recognized for its warm, crystal clear waters and vibrant coral reef — taking athletes on an “L-shaped” out-and-back course that parallels the shoreline in a clock-wise direction.

Athletes will be separated into age groups for a rolling wave swim start beginning at 6:20 AM, with participants starting on the beach, and each given a total time of one hour and ten minutes to complete the swim course.

From there, competitors will take off on a 56-mile out-and-back ride toward the quaint town of Hawi. Known for its hills, heat, humidity, along with gusty headwinds and cross-winds, the challenging course will allow one to truly experience the northern half of the Ironman World Championship course.

Competitors will then finish off with a three-loop, 13.1-mile scorching run course that starts and ends at the beautiful Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. The run will travel throughout the resort grounds, over manicured golf greens, along the shoreline, past ancient petroglyph fields and ancient fishponds, and over paved roads and cart paths.

Beyond the breathtaking scenery one will experience throughout the race, the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii triathlon has always attracted a highly competitive age-group field and for good reason.

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Up for grabs will be 30 qualifying slots allocated to age-group athletes for the 2021 Supersapiens Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona slated for October 9th, and 24 qualifying slots to Hawaii State Residents. For those gunning to compete in the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission in St. George, Utah, 150 slots will be allocated to those who qualify.

Each athlete and relay team will each have a total time of eight hours and 30-minutes to complete the entire 70.3-mile course. For more information visit https://www.ironman.com/im703-hawaii.

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