Well, your triathlete has crossed the finish line at the Ironman World Championship and has heard, “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”  So, now what? He/she will be ushered away from the finish line by volunteers and all the normal tasks will be preformed; timing chip removed, water and cold towel given out, finisher’s picture taken, finisher’s swag doled out, and then an escort to the athlete area.

crossing the finish line at ironman world championship kona

All that’s left to do is party, or maybe collapse……

Over time, the athlete area and food has changed and most likely will always change a little based on lessons learned the year before, but it has always been behind the King K hotel.  Once you see your athlete cross the finish line, make your way back to the King K beach area.  It is best to stay close to the hotel or even go into the hotel, grab yourself a water and snack from the store, and head out the door by the restaurant.

We suggest that you set a meeting place with your athlete at least by the day before the race, when you are down dropping off the bike, or going for a little swim.  Make sure you pick an area past the pool area of the King K.  This is a great space to hang out with your athlete before they are ready to pick up their bike and T bags, to go shower, and then decide what you want to do the rest of the night.

the finishers at ironman world championship kona

Taking pics with friends for a lifetime of memories….

Of note:  If you set up valet with TriBikeTransport, you will not have to worry about the bike or bags tonight!  YEAH!  One less thing to have to fuss with and more time to take it all in.

Once your athlete is ready to move again, we recommend grabbing some dinner and high-tailing it back to the finish line.  There are great restaurants right along Ali’i, so you have plenty of options.  Splashers has great burgers; FishHopper is always yummy and offers vegan and Paleo options; and since we stay at the King K, we find ourselves meeting friends right there at the restaurant, where we can watch the action of the athlete area and have a drink.  The staff is great at getting French Fries out quickly and will work with special dietary needs.

the finish line at ironman world championship kona

Firedancer entertaining the crowd…..

Really, we can’t stress enough to go back to the finish line, if your athlete is able.  They put on such a great show with Hawaiian dancers and usually the pro winners come back and put the medals on the finishers. The energy is so high and there are tons of people out having a great time.  Seeing that last person cross the finish line gives you chills and your heart truly breaks for that person who is one minute too late….

what should you do at ironman world championship kona when your triathlete finishes

Back at the finish line in support…..

If your athlete finishes in time for dinner and you have the time and inclination, we also recommend heading back up to our run spot, Tip #3, to cheer some of the runners on before heading to the finish.  There is something really special about being out on the course in the dark; there are not many spectators and you know these are the triathletes who need that extra push the most.  Just saying…..

what to do at ironman world championship kona on race night

The world champions 2011, Chrissie and Craig…

Enjoy the night and don’t miss the Awards Banquet Sunday night.  It, too, is an event that needs to be experienced.  Safe travels home!