Each year over 2,000 athletes toe the line with a dream of hearing Mike Reilly announce “You are an Ironman” as they come through the finishing chute on Ali’i drive. On their way to achieving their dream, they have to tackle the waves of the Pacific, the winds of the Queen K Highway and the heat of the Natural Energy Lab.
Like every IRONMAN® Race, Kona is often filled with stories of challenges and triumphs, and this year was no different. Before the race even began came the news that Tim Don would not be able to make the start after being involved in a crash during a training ride on the Queen K. Also missing from the finish line was perennial favorite Matt Russell who was involved in a bike crash during the race. Thankfully, both are now on the mend but the recovery will be lengthy. We are sure both of them are eying a return to Kona in 2018 as the ultimate goal on their recovery journey. Follow Matt’s journey here.
On the more positive side, there many stories of triumph among the finishers including Patrick Lange’s course setting record and Daniela Ryf’s third straight win. There was also a breakout performance by Australia’s Sarah Crowley who managed a third-place finish after a mid-race crash.
From a TriBike Transport perspective, Kona is one of our most challenging and rewarding races every year. It is one of the few races each year that we have to pack bikes for water shipment, which adds a whole new level of complexity.
This year was our 8th trip to the island for the IRONMAN® World Championships and saw us helping 330 athletes experience hassle-free transport getting to their race. Since we began supporting the Kona race in 2009, we have now transported over 3,000 bikes to and from the island.
Congrats to everyone that realized their Kona dream this year. Whether it was for the first time, or the 35th, you don’t get to the World Championships without drive, determination and plenty of hard work.