2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (2023)

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2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (1)

Big Island GuideTravel Guide

2023 Ironman World Championship

The 2023 Ironman World Championship women’s race will be held in Kailua Kona, Hawaii on Saturday, October 14th, 2023.

This event will have the professional women racing in Kailua Kona and the professional men’s race will be held in a separate location on a separate day. The men’s event venue had not been decided at the time of this writing. The venue will then swap annually between the men’s and women’s events.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (2)

Daniela Ryf 2018

The next Ironman World Championship will be Hawaii’s 45th time hosting the event. Held mainly in Kailua-Kona since 1981, the Ironman World Championship is considered the ultimate physical, mental, and emotional test of strength, resilience, and endurance in the world. Athletes from around the world will compete in the next Kona event and Big Island Guide will be there!

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (3)

(Video) 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship Documentary

Kristian Blummenfelt 2022

The world’s best triathletes gather in Kona Hawaii each year to compete in this challenging and strenuous athletic competition.Qualification for the Ironman World Championship requires placement in other Ironman competitions or Ironman 70.3 races, of which there are around 50 such events worldwide.

Past Record Setting Performances

This year’s athletes will have to work very hard to compete with recent, record breaking performances. The pro competitors always show up in Kona with ambitious goals and we suspect this year will be no different. In 2018 they claimed 5 new course records, then broke some of those in 2019. Patrick Lange took the overall course record in 2018, with a time of 7:52:39, marking the first sub-8-hour finish in Kailua-Kona. Daniela Ryf set a new women’s course record of 8:26:16 and a new record for the women’s bike portion of the 2018 race. In 2018 Lucy Charles claimed the women’s course record for the swim and Cameron Wurf set a new men’s course bike record.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (4)

Jan Frodeno – 2019

In 2019 Jan Frodeno broke the overall course record with a 7:51:13 finish.In 2022 more Kona records were claimed, as Sam Laidlow beat the bike course record by more than four minutes with a split of 4:04:36 and Iden beat the run course record by more than three minutes with a split of 2:36:15. Gustav Iden of Norway set the new overall course record with a lightning fast 7:40:24 time.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (5)

Gustav Iden 2022

If you missed the 2022 Ironman World Championship read our recap here. The 2020 event was cancelled due to Covid and the 2021 event was moved to St. George Utah due to Covid related travel restrictions.

(Video) IS KONA DEAD - 2023 Split Ironman World Championships

The Athletes

The athlete lineup is always impressive and full of strong contenders, we’re excited to see who returns to Kona for a shot at winning this year’s race.

Men’s 2022 Top 3

1. Gustav Iden (Norway) – 7:40:24
2. Sam Laidlow (France) – 7:42:24
3. Kristian Blummenfelt (Norway) – 7:43:23

Women’s 2022 Top 3

1. Chelsea Sodaro (United States)– 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (United Kingdom) – 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (Germany) – 8:42:22

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (6)

Anne Haug 2019

Watching the Ironman World Championship

Watching these dedicated athletes train around the Big Island in the weeks prior to The Ironman Race is always inspirational and brings to light the immense amount of work that goes into performing at the top of the sport. Their incredible displays of form and strength on race day will awe you and the tremendously competitive field will keep you guessing until the last step who will rise to victory.

The Ironman Course in Kailua-Kona Hawaii

Held each year in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island, the race includes a 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, 112-mile bicycle race along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, and finishes up back in Kailua-Kona after a 26.2-mile run.This incredible endurance test is one of the most impressive and exciting triathlon races to watch. It’s inspiring to see lifelong dreams come true and cheer on the amazing athletes who dare to challenge this brutal Ironman course.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (7)

(Video) 2022 IRONMAN World Championships - Race Preview & Pre-Race Tips

Sam Laidlow 2022

For an understanding of how the race flows and how long each section takes, we can look at the pro winners and their timing. Gustav Iden swam a 48:23, biked a 4:11:06, and ran a 2:36:15 for an incredible 7:40:24 finish time.Chelsea Sodaro swam a54:48, biked a 4:42:08, ran a 2:51:45 and finished at 8:33:46.

Be aware that many road closures block direct paths into and out of Kona as well as all around the downtown area so getting around can take extra time. Click Here to See Previous Ironman Road Closure Information.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (8)

Swim Information
If you are here in Kona during the Ironman World Championship, then you will need to be up early to catch the start of the swim. The event kicks offin Kailua Bay, with the pro competitors starting at 6:25 am. Then, the age group starts will roll out in waves every 5 minutes from 6:30 am on.The pros will finish swimming in around 45-60 minutes and proceed to the bike race.

Parking is nuts and the best spots fill up fast on race day, so heading down as early as possible is always advised.People start staking out spots as early as 4:30 am.There are several parks in downtown Kona as well as the sea wall lining Ali’i Drive that overlook the starting point for the swim in Kailua Bay. You can line up anywhere along here for a view of the swim portion of the race.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (9)

Bike Information
The bike race immediately follows the swim and competitors leave directly from the Kailua Pier transition area, heading up Palani Road, looping around to Makala Blvd and the Kuakini Hwy then racing along the closedQueen Ka’ahumanu Highway to Hawi on the northern tip of Hawaii and back. If you want to head up to the turnaround point you would want to take the upper Mamalahoa HWY 190 to Waimea, then take the 250 cut across that takes you over Kohala mountain into Hawi.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (10)

Patrick Lange

(Video) How To Qualify For The Ironman World Championships | Everything You Need To Know About Kona!

If you’re not heading north, the best place to see the biking event is either from Palani Rd when they are leaving the pier area, along the Kuakini Hwy or along the Queen K as they head out or return to Kona. The pros generally complete the bike portion of the race in 4-5 hours and the quickest, land back at the transition point starting around 11:20 am.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (11)

Lucy Charles-Barclay

Run Information
The run starts from the Kailua Pier transition point and heads up Palani Rd, turning south on the Kuakini Hwy until Hualālai Rd, then continues onto Ali’i Dr for a turn around retracing it’s path back to the Queen K Hwy for the long stretch up to the energy lab. It’s pretty easy to catch a glimpse of your favorite racers along the run portion on Ali’i, and then you can grab lunch by the water while they head north. The racers will turn around at NELHA and then make for the home stretch back along the Queen K Hwy and the hard earned finish line on Ali’i Drive.

2023 Ironman World Championship in Kona | Big Island Guide (12)

Remember that the professional women typically start to approach the finish line around 2:40 pm. The professional men will start to approach the finish around 2:00 pm. The finish to the Ironman World Championship is always an incredible event, packed with onlookers and if you want to get a glimpse of the winners, it’s best to show up early to stake out a spot.

Ironman Finish Line Map

Ironman Raceday Coverage

If you aren’t lucky enough to be in Kona for the event, you can still see live coverage and follow along.Watch Live on Ironman Now Facebook Channel

Get more information on Ironman’s Website.

(Video) Episode 234: Keys to Kona - Strategies for Success at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships


Where is the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship? ›

5, Ironman officially announced that it would be making a long-term change to the annual world championship. The 2023 event will take place across two days in two cities. This year, men will be racing in Nice, France, on Sept. 10, while the women will race in Kona on Oct.

How do you qualify for Ironman Kona 2023? ›

The IRONMAN Legacy Program rewards the most loyal athletes with a chance to compete in Kona. For 2023, Athletes must complete 12 full-distance, IRONMAN-branded triathlons and have never raced at the IRONMAN World Championship before.

How hard is it to qualify for the Ironman World Championships? ›

Athletes qualify for the Ironman world championships by finishing in a top position in their age group at an Ironman event. Every race offers at least one qualifying spot per age category. The number of spots increases in proportion to the number of athletes racing in that category.

How much does Ironman Kona 2023 cost? ›

Kona entry costs

For 2023, entry has risen to $1,400 USD plus fees (Hawaii Tax and Active fee), taking it to almost $1,600 (£1,400).

What date is Kona 2023? ›

This was further clarified in January 2023: The men's World Championship race will be held on September 10th in Nice, France, while the women's race will be on October 14th in Kona. For 2024, the locations will switch: The women's race will be in Nice while the men's race will be in Kona.

Do you have to qualify for Ironman World Championship? ›

While qualification is not required to secure an IRONMAN Foundation slot, athletes will need to validate their eligibility by completing at least one IRONMAN 70.3 race before the end of the qualification period on July 9, 2023. To apply for an IRONMAN Foundation IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship slot, click here.

What is a good time for the Kona Ironman? ›


the World Championship). As you can see below, Kona was the fastest course with an average of 11h31 min, and Chattanooga the slowest with an average time of 14h06 min.

What is the qualifying time for Kona Ironman? ›

Your Qualifying Chances: This race offers qualifying slots for Kona over a year away, and the average age-group qualifying times are some of the slowest on the domestic circuit (for example, 9:33:44 for men's 35-39; 10:01:53 for men's 45-49; 11:27:05 for women's 30-34; 11:00:26 for women's 40-44)—likely because of the ...

Why is Kona Ironman so hard? ›

Well, the distances involved are, of course, a tremendous burden on the athletes — coupled with the unique conditions. The 3.86km swim in Kailua-Kona bay is non-wetsuit in 26 degrees Celsius water, a challenge unlike any other swim on the circuit.

How are Ironman World Championship slots allocated? ›

All IRONMAN events will have dedicated, predetermined quantities of female and male IRONMAN World Championship slots. Slots will be distributed and awarded proportionally within each gender. If any IRONMAN World Championship slots roll down, those slots will stay within the same gender.

How many people qualify for Ironman World Championships? ›

The World Championship is the pinnacle event in the global IRONMAN 70.3 calendar. The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event expects to attract more than 7,000 athletes from over 100 global qualifying events in locations such as Australia, China, Spain, South Africa, and the Americas.

How fast do Ironman sell out? ›

Most north American Ironman races sell out on the first day of registration. After that, several hundred enter sold out races via a Foundation Entry, which double the fee, with 50% going to Ironman Foundation charities.

How many Hyundai Kona Ironman edition were made? ›

The Kona Iron Man edition comes as standard with the equipment from the upper end of the Kona range, including automatic LED headlights, keyless entry, air-conditioning Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and a head-up display. Only 300 Kona Iron Man editions will be built.

How long does it take to train for an Ironman? ›

It takes 6 months to 1 year, depending on your current fitness. Athletes who can on day 1 complete a 70.3 Ironman, can train within 6 months. Athletes who have never done a triathlon or are brand new to triathlon training, will require 12 months. There are an abundance of plans out there for 12 or 16 weeks.

What is the best month to go to Kona? ›

The best time to visit Hawaii is between March and September. This is when the islands see the highest temperatures and the lowest amount of rain. It's the perfect time to enjoy the beach or the water.

How much should I pay for new Kona? ›

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2023 Hyundai Kona starts at $23,475 for the SE base-level trim with destination fee and popular options. Prices will increase as you add options or choose a trim with more features. MSRP stands for manufacturer's suggested retail price.

Where does Kona Ironman start? ›

The Ironman World Championship starts with a 2.4 mile swim which begins and ends at the Kailua Kona Pier in town. The race then continues with a grueling 112 mile bike ride in which competitors head north through extremely hot lava fields, wind gusts up to 25 mph and scorching hot temperatures.

Is Ironman hard on your body? ›

Most triathletes are well aware that racing, and even training for, Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events does a number on the body and the mind. Training for a long-distance triathlon event that takes 4-7 hours (Ironman 70.3) or 8-17 hours (Ironman) is mentally and physically demanding.

What is the easiest Ironman in the world? ›

Here we pick our top top 6 events to ease you into world of Ironman. The run is flat, with just 90m of elevation gain over the 42.2km duration.
  • The Midnight Man. Dartford, Kent, England. ...
  • Challenge Roth. Roth, Germany. ...
  • Ironman UK. ...
  • Ironman Copenhagen. ...
  • Ironman Austria. ...
  • The Outlaw.
Jul 12, 2021

What race is harder than Ironman? ›

What's harder than an Ironman, ultramarathon, or marathon?
Difficulty RankingRace TypeExperienced At
1100 Miler Trail UltramarathonPinhoti 100
2Offroad Ironman Distance TriathlonWilderman Triathlon
3100k Trail UltramarathonBlack Canyon Ultras
466k (40 mile) Trail UltramarathonHounslow Classic
10 more rows
Feb 20, 2022

Why is the IRONMAN World Championship not in Kona? ›

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the IRONMAN World Championship taking place at Kona in 2020 or 2021, with a delayed 2021 edition taking place at St. George, Utah earlier this year. The 2022 event returned to its traditional home on Hawaii, but it became clear Kona would be unable to support the new two-day race format.

Do Ironman winners get paid? ›

The 2022/23 Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series features a total prize pool of $224,000. This is split evenly between the IronMen and the IronWomen, with both genders receiving the same amount of winnings for each race and overall placings.

What do you get if you win the Ironman championship? ›

The Ironman 70.3 World Championship is set for an overall prize purse of $350,000, which will be distributed between the top 15 finishers. The day's strongest competitor who manages to take the winning tape will be awarded a substantial $50,000.

How much does the winner of Ironman Kona get? ›

Ironman Kona Stats: Ironman Hawaii Pro Race

$750,000 Professional prize purse distributed among the top 15 male and female pros, with the winners each receiving $125,000. 52 Professional women on the 2022 start list. 55 Professional men on the 2022 start list. 7:51:13 Men's course record, set by Jan Frodeno in 2019.

What is the fastest Ironman Kona time? ›

Iden conquered Kona with a stunning time of 7:40:24, shattering German Jan Frodeno's course record of 7:51:13 by more than 10 minutes.

How long does it take to ride 112 miles on a bike? ›

If you can bike 112 miles at 17 mph you will complete the bike portion in 6 hours and 33 minutes.

How many people qualify for Kona Ironman? ›

Competition is also fierce, with approximately 100,000 triathletes annually trying to qualify for Kona and only around 3,000 triathletes ending up on that hallowed start line in Kailua Bay in October.

How do I know if I qualified for Kona? ›

You always qualify in your current division. If you are M35-39 at your qualifier you compete for M35-39 slots even if you would be M40-44 at the Ironman World Championship. Every age group present on the start line will receive 1 slot. After that, slots are allocated in proportion to the size of each age group.

Can you wear a wetsuit in Kona Ironman? ›

Swim: As with all full distance triathlons, the swim distance is 2.8km. However, the water temperature in Kona is far too warm for athletes to be allowed to use wetsuits.

Is Kona the toughest Ironman? ›

Kona Ironman (Ironman World Championship, Hawaii)

The one in Kona is the Ironman world championship, it is the oldest in the world and is known as the toughest event in the world.

How do I train for Ironman Kona? ›

You must have had at least 16 weeks of consistent training under your belt. Over the past 12 weeks, you should have a minimum of four long runs of more than two hours (including one at 2.5–3 hours), and 4–5 long rides of more than 4.5 hours, including two at more than five hours.

How much harder is an Ironman than a marathon? ›

It's tough to say, but in general, in an IRONMAN 70.3 you might run 30 to 60 seconds per mile slower than your half marathon pace, and in an IRONMAN race it could be 1 to 3 minutes per mile slower than your best marathon pace. But even though it's slower, the feeling coming across the finish line is like no other!

How are Kona slots allocated? ›

To qualify for Kona, you need to earn a qualifying slot. Each race allocates a certain number of Kona slots by age division, roughly according to the ages of competing participants.

How do Ironman athletes make money? ›

Ironman Prize Money Breakdown

Those prize purses get broken down into smaller amounts for the athletes who hold the top 15 winning positions. Triathlon Today shows that the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 purses range from $15,000 to $750,000 and shows the breakdowns for those with the fastest times.

What time do you need to complete an Ironman in? ›

Most Ironman events have a time limit of 16 or 17 hours to complete the race, course dependent, with the race typically starting at 7:00am. The mandatory cut off time to complete the 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim is 2 hours 20 minutes.

What percentage of athletes finish an Ironman? ›

The average triathlete spend months, if not years, preparing to compete in an Ironman Triathlon, to finish the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile marathon in less than 17 hours. In a typical North American Ironman, nearly 95% of those who start will ultimately finish the race.

Can an average person complete an Ironman? ›

Anyone can do an IRONMAN if they want to. If you are considering it, then there is no doubt that you can do it too… with a bit of self-belief and hard work, you can achieve anything. However, you need to give yourself the best chances of success.

Who has won the most Kona Ironman? ›

Most wins of the IRONMAN® World Championship by an individual (male) The most wins in the men's race is six by Dave Scott (USA) (b. 4 Jan 1959), 1980, 1982-84 and 1986-87 and Mark Allen (USA), 1989-93, 1995.

Why is the Ironman World Championship not in Kona? ›

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the IRONMAN World Championship taking place at Kona in 2020 or 2021, with a delayed 2021 edition taking place at St. George, Utah earlier this year. The 2022 event returned to its traditional home on Hawaii, but it became clear Kona would be unable to support the new two-day race format.

Where is the Ironman World Championship held annually? ›

The Ironman World Championship is an ultra-triathlon held annually in Hawaii, United States since 1978, with an additional race in 1982. It is owned and organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. It is the annual culmination of a series of Ironman triathlon qualification races held throughout the world.

Is Ironman moving from Kona? ›

Ironman says it's taken the move to “ensure that both professional and amateur women and men have a focused Ironman World Championship race experience.” While the women's event will stay in Kona for 2023, and take place on 14 October, the men's race date and location are yet to be officially announced.

Why was Ironman World Championship in Utah? ›

GEORGE, Utah — Since 1978, the IRONMAN World Championship has been held each year in Kona, Hawaii. But due to a coronavirus-related cancellation of the 2021 event and ongoing restrictions, the event has found a new area to host in Southern Utah.

Is Kona Ironman hard? ›

Ironman triathlons are, by any measure, a frightful prospect. The race features a 3.86 kilometre swim, a180km bike ride and finishes off with a marathon (42.20km) run. It is one of, if not the toughest single-day race in sport.

What is the average time for Kona Ironman? ›

Finally, the average Ironman run time is 4 hours and 50 minutes, which is about 40% of the total race time. Finally, TriGearLab reports that the average finishing time at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii Kona is 11 hours and 31 minutes.

How long does it take to bike 112 miles? ›

If you can bike 112 miles at 17 mph you will complete the bike portion in 6 hours and 33 minutes.

What is the fastest Kona Ironman time? ›

Iden conquered Kona with a stunning time of 7:40:24, shattering German Jan Frodeno's course record of 7:51:13 by more than 10 minutes.

How much money does Ironman bring to Kona? ›

In 2006, an economic impact study by the firm Markrich Research LLC found the world famous event brought $25 million to the state. In 2019, the amount had grown to $72 million. This year, with more racers and race days, Ironman is expecting it to generate in excess of $100 million.

Where is mens Ironman in 2023? ›

It's official: The 2023 Ironman World Championship race for professional and age-group men will be taking place in Nice, France on September 10.

Why is IRONMAN World Championship not in Hawaii? ›

IRONMAN confirmed that a major reason for the changes is the fact the local community and infrastructure in Hawaii cannot cope with two race days.

Is Ironman leaving Hawaii? ›

KAILUA-KONA (KHON2) — The IRONMAN World Championship is leaving the islands — at least partially. The organization announced Wednesday that the races will be split between two locations starting in 2023.


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