Kona ironman tsunami


The images of the Kona ironman tsunami bring back so many memories of Kona.

Kona as the site of my first Ironman finish in 1984. It is sad to see the finishing straight on Ali’i Drive immersed in murky water and debris. My thoughts and best wishes go out to the people of Kona.

The far-reaching effects of the 8.9 earthquake that caused so much damage and loss of life in Japan left it’s mark on Kona, Hawaii, home of the Hawaii Ironman World Championships.

Kona Harbor is well-known for it’s pristine, clear blues water that treat Ironmen contestants to a backdrop of thousands and thousands of tropic fish during the Ironman swim.

It is an enduring memory of my first open water swim over 27 years ago now.

Before the swim start that day someone told me “when you see the steeple of the chapel on your right, you are almost home.”

The steeple is still there and I remember the elation I felt that day so long ago when I first spotted it as I neared the finish of the swim.

kona ironman tsunami devastates ali'i drive

Along the seawall on Ali’i Drive

On Ironman day, thousands of people line the finish straight on Ali’i Drive that is shown in the images completely immersed in muddy water and debris.

Today, the Ironman Hawaii finish line remains unchanged and is the same location where so much drama has played out over the years since the Ironman moved to Kona from the island of Oahu.

I’m sure I speak for many triathletes and fans of ironman when I say “thank you” to the people of Kona who have welcomed us to their amazing village and put on such a great show on Ironman day for three decades. You will rebound from this Kona Ironman Tsunami and be as great as ever.

We wish you the best and have no doubt that one day in the Fall of 2011 you will once again provide many triathletes with unforgettable memories as you welcome the world to yet another spectacular event.

Read more about the Hawaii Ironman.

Visit Ironman.com for race info and training tips.

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