For the first time in the long history of Ironman Hawaii, the race will be spread out over two days. That new event schedule also saw other things change, as for instance the course, which will be slightly different from other years. From Palani Road to Kaiminani Parkway – a busy connecting road between two highways – the road will be partially closed for triathletes, while the other half of the road remains open to traffic. That’s not the biggest change, because that’s the new location of the transition area for pro athletes; it will be closer to Ali’ Drive to give fans the chance to get up close. As a result, the mountline will be 130 meters further; to compensate also the U-turn in Hawi has been moved with 130 meters.
The pro women and half of the Age Groupers will race on Thursday Oct. 6, while the other half, and the pro men, hit the gas on Saturday, Oct. 8. It will draw a lot of people to Kona. Kona locals have expressed their frustration with the partial shutting of the Queen K highway before, but shutting it down for two days got the locals even more upset. Ironman solves the issues with a small change of the course. The route towards the transition area has been changed; triathletes now take a little detour behind the Target shopping center.
These measures should improve the traffic situation on Kona. The organization will also provide shuttle busses from the big parking to the dock, so that spectators can easily move from one hotspot to the other.
Find out everything about the new course on the Ironman website.