Hopefully, you enjoyed your lunch or whatever break you took while your triathlete was out on the bike.  But, now is the time you really need to watch where you are.  One year, it literally took us an hour to get back to the spot we like to be to watch the run – due to both the crowds and trying to cross the street.

Your athlete will come in from the bike on the King K side of the road to T2.  T2 is a quick turn around and if you want a sweaty kiss or high-five, it is best to be on the run side opposite the King K, just north of Ali’i Drive.  As your athlete comes out of T2, they will be behind the finish chute and heading up the hill to turn right onto Kuakini Highway.

ironman wc kona off on run

Coming out of the chute…..

If your athlete is getting their running legs, there is a good chance you can make it around the corner before them and get in another hello.  They will then head south for a little run down Ali’i Drive and back to this spot before heading out to the Energy Lab.  This “little run” is actually around 10 miles, so here again you have some time.

We see two choices here.  You can stay put on the west side of the road – there is shade – until it is close to their time to be back and then just cross the street.  Get in another kiss and high-five and they are off for the final leg.  Another option is to go to Palani Drive in the grass meridian and watch from there.  They will be heading up on the left side of the road.  There are also some trees in the grass for shade.

ironman wc kona run course

Palani & Kuakani – grass meridian on left and other option next to hotel in the background

This is now a good time to grab a little snack and plan your next move.  And, please don’t forget to hydrate! There are plenty of places to eat and maybe get ice cream for the kids in a shopping center just south on Kuakini Highway or along Palani Drive.  I have never been, but my teens go for the ice cream with a few little ones and it is not that far.

If you want to see the pros finish, keep in mind that the males finish under 8 1/2 hours and the females just over 9 hours.  You have to decide what’s important – how many races you’ve seen before; have you ever seen the winning pro come in; how important it is to your athlete to see you, and then perhaps base your decision on where your triathlete is in the race.  If you are with kids, they probably want to see their mom or dad…..

the finish line at ironman wc kona

Leanda Cave at the magic finish line 2012

There are two choices for where to be for the finish.  You can return to the spot you watched them run out to the Energy Lab at, as they will come down the same side of the street.  You can watch for your athlete and then run down to the finish.  It is not that far, but depending on the crowds and your athlete’s pace, it may be hard, so be prepared for not being at the finish line in time.

Chrissie coming down Palani Drive at ironman wc kona

Chrissie coming down Palani Drive in the lead 2011…..

The other option is to hang out at the finish line in town, knowing there will be crowds.  If you have athletes anything like ours, they will give you  predicted times and you have to put a window around that knowing there are great days, good days, and awful days.  They come running down Ali’i Drive, so you can park yourself anywhere along the street.  Whatever you choose, we just hope in the end, you can say – whew, they made it across the finish line and are now part of an elite group of athletes who can say they’ve been to “Kona.”

crossing the finish line at ironman wc kona

Now has the bragging rights to, I’ve been to Kona…..

NEXT UP:  Now that the race is over, how to spend the rest of the night – once  you find your athlete that is…..

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