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A Game Plan For The Kona Bike Course

  • By Lance Watson and Dan Smith
  • Published Oct 4, 2013
Photo: Nils Nilsen


Anyone who has raced in Kona knows that it is unlike any other Ironman. To the uneducated eye the course looks rather nondescript, with a rolling open highway lined by black lava rock.

But the wind and heat make the race quite difficult, and the course requires much strength and stamina. Having a vivid mental picture of the bike course can make all the difference come race day. As with any race, breaking the course down into smaller segments and knowing what to expect will go a long way toward success.

Transition And In Town

Remember this is the Ironman World Championship, and the majority of the 1,800 racers exit the water in a 30–40-minute window. That means there are plenty of other cyclists around you on the road. On top of that, the crowd is revving everyone up as racers make a circuit of Kailua-Kona. Then it’s back up Palani and onto the Queen K Highway.

TIP: Stay within your zones—it’s easy to get carried away. In town, concentrate on steady breathing and good cadence, and be aware of surrounding riders.

PHOTOS: 2012 Ironman World Championship

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FILED UNDER: Ironman / Race Tips / Training TAGS:

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