Ironman 70.3 Hawaii returns; Justin Riele comes out on top again

Swimmers dash out of the chute into Pauoa Bay at the Fairmont Orchid at the opening of Saturday’s race. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

Jason Smith raises the ribbon after being the first competitor to cross the finish line at the 2021 Ironman 70.3 Hawaii. Though Smith was the first to finish, he placed 14th overall due to the staggered start times. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

Jeffrey Kay leads a pack of bicyclists past a group of fans lining the road at Saturday’s Ironman Honu race. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

Meghan Grant checks her watch during the 13.1 running stage of the 2021 Ironman 70.3 Hawaii. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

Shawn Colden reaches for a drink during Saturday’s 56-mile biking stage. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

A swimmer heads out of Pauoa Bay early Saturday morning at the start of the 2021 Ironman Honu. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

Kailua-Kona's David Wild finished fifth overall at Ironman 70.3 Hawaii on Saturday. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

It was a sight Hawaii hasn’t seen in a while — more than 1,000 athletes racing through 70.3 miles of blue water and grueling hot lava fields, with families, supporters and volunteers lining the course to cheer them on.