Honu Triathlon paves the way to Kona

In only its second year, the Honu Triathlon will mature from a small, local event to an international qualifier and expand to a Half Ironman distance (swim 1.2 mile, bike 56 miles, run 13.1 miles).

After a successful inaugural race in June, this new Half Ironman will offer 85 slots to the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.

Named in honor of the Hawaiian green sea turtle, the Honu Half Ironman Triathlon will take place June 5, 2005, on the beautiful, sunny Kohala Coast of the Big Island.

The Honu Half Ironman Triathlon is the only qualifying event held on the Ironman Championship course on the Big Island of Hawaii.

With majestic Mauna Kea to the east and the crystal blue Pacific waters to the west, athletes will have to swim, bike and run faster than the race's name sake if they are going to capture one of the 85 slots up for grabs to the Ironman Triathlon World Championship on Oct. 15, 2005.

The 2005 Honu Half Ironman Triathlon will offer 35 slots to Big Island athletes, 20 slots to State of Hawaii residents and 30 International slots open to everyone. Big Island and State of Hawaii residents must meet a three year minimum residency requirement.

The 1.2-mile swim will take place at nearby Hapuna Beach State Park which is frequently listed as one of the best beaches in the United States with its clear, warm waters, white sand and resident Honu (turtles) and occasional spinner dolphins.

The 56-mile bike course will follow the famed Queen Ka'ahumanu and Akoni Pule Highways, to Hawi. Athletes will travel through a variety of terrain ranging from windy, sun-scorched lava fields to lush, green pastures and will pass numerous historic heiau (temples).

The bike segment returns south to the Mauna Lani Resort where the scenic but challenging 13.1-mile run starts. The run will be entirely within the Mauna Lani Resort over grass, paths and paved roads. Runners will travel past petroglyph fields, ancient fish ponds, and the historic Ala Loa Foot Trail.

A post-race barbecue will offer live entertainment, lots of good food and beverages, age group and overall awards as well as the presentation of the coveted Ironman slots.

The Mauna Lani Bay Resort is the host hotel and will be the event headquarters. Situated on water's edge on the Kohala Coast, the Mauna Lani Resort features an award winning hotel and bungalows surrounded by acres of preserved ancient Hawaiian fishponds.

The Mauna Lani Resort offers superb amenities including two 18-hole championship golf courses, tennis courts and spa. A special rate for Honu Triathlon participants is available through the race Web site at www.HonuHalfIronman.com.

The inaugural Honu Triathlon was held in June of 2004, and was an Olympic distance event open to State of Hawaii residents only. With a very competitive field of the state's best athletes, Tim Marr of Mililani and Ingrid Rolles of Honolulu prevailed as the men's and women's champs.

The Honu Half Ironman Triathlon is produced and organized by the same staff and volunteers that put on the famous Ironman Triathlon World Championship every October.

Questions about the Honu Half Ironman Triathlon and the Ironman Triathlon World Championship may be directed to the Ironman Triathlon World Championship race office in Kona at (808) 329-0063 or by email to kona@ironmanlive.com. Event and registration information on the Honu Triathlon may be found at www.HonuHalfIronman.com.

Discuss This Article