Nicknamed Honu, in honor of the Hawaiian green sea turtle, the IRONMAN 70.3 Hawai`i offers competitors a beautiful venue. It starts with an open-ocean swim and follows with a challenging course along the northern half of the IRONMAN World Championship bike course.
The swim takes place at Hapuna Beach State Park, frequently listed as one of the best beaches in the United States with its warm, crystal blue waters, white sand, and occasional sightings of spinner dolphins and resident honu (turtles).
The bike course leads athletes along the infamous Queen Ka’ahumanu and Akoni Pule Highways towards the tiny northern town of Hawi, known for its unique boutiques, restaurants and galleries, and of course as the IRONMAN bike turn-around. Athletes cycle their way through black lava fields and green pastures, ancient, historic Hawaiian heiau (temples), and modern wind farms that hint of the notorious and legendary Kama’kani winds.
The hot and sunny run starts and finishes at the beautiful Fairmont Orchid, Hawai`i , and winds its way through the Mauna Lani Resort over modern golf greens, past ancient petroglyph fields and fishponds, and the historic Ala Loa Foot trail.
The post-race lawn party at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai`i is worth making it to the finish line. The host hotel goes all out to feed the hungry athletes, but the real dessert is the championship slot allocations at the end of the day.
After the race, the island offers competitors a vacation playground with a variety of natural wonders to explore, including rain forests, waterfalls, active volcanoes, black sand beaches, and abundant marine life