75. Andreas Raelert holds the iron-distance world record of 7:41:33 set at Challenge Roth in 2011. He swam 46:18, averaged 26.7 mph on the bike to split 4:11 and ran 6:08 miles en route to a 2:40:52 marathon.
76. Marino Vanhoenacker has the second fastest iron-distance personal record of all time of 7:45:58, set at Ironman Austria in 2011.
77. Vanhoenacker failed to qualify for the race this year due to injury.
78. American Andy Potts has been first out of the water every year since he first came to Kona in 2008, and usually by a sizeable margin. He is yet to survive at the front of the bike pack all the way back to transition, losing between 8 and 12 minutes to the main contenders in each of those five races. 2012 was his best ride to date—he gave up eight minutes to eventual champ Pete Jacobs.
79. After he finished second to Craig Alexander in 2008, Eneko Llanos has struggled at Ironman Hawaii. Six-time Kona champion Dave Scott started coaching Llanos earlier this year and he ripped off a string of victories including beating Craig Alexander at Ironman Melbourne and breaking eight hours at Ironman Frankfurt.
80. The portion of the run course from about mile 16 through 20 called the Energy Lab is blocked off to spectators, leaving the athletes completely alone for this critical stretch of the race.
81. The last person to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs at the Ironman World Championship was Nina Craft. She crossed the line first in 2004 and tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO in her post-race drug test. She admitted guilt.
82. All athletes have until midnight to finish the race, giving amateurs 17 hours to cover the 140.6 miles.
83. To finish, competitors must also finish the swim in 2:20 and get off the bike 10.5 hours after the start.
84. 77-year-old Harriet Anderson was the final finisher in 2012, crossing the line with just 41 seconds to spare despite having broken her collarbone six weeks before the race.
85. When the sun sets, athletes still on the course are given glow sticks to stay visible in the darkness.
86. In June, Inside Triathlon asked Tim DeBoom to pick the favorites in both races. He selected Craig Alexander, Andreas Raelert and Frederik Van Lierde as the top male contenders and Kienle, Llanos, O’Donnell and Docherty as the next group.
87. DeBoom selected Cave, Steffen and Ellis as the top tier with Carfrae, Joyce and Corinne Abraham as the next most likely to contend.
88. In 1985, Scott Tinley was the first athlete to don a full aerodynamic bike setup including a bullhorn bar, aero helmet and shoe covers.
89. Disc wheels are illegal on the Kona course because of the strong and unpredictable crosswinds.
90. A few apparel companies including Castelli and Pearl Izumi have been investigating the aerodynamic effect of clothing. Both have found that covering the shoulders and armpits helps reduce drag for many athletes. Look for some racers to wear long-sleeve pullovers during the bike that come off for the run.
91. In case of a mechanical problem, both the male and female pros will have one neutral support car driving closely behind the race to provide assistance. Aid from the support car typically doesn’t come immediately, however, so punctures or breakdowns still result in lost time.
92. Age-groupers are on their own for mechanicals. Not only does the race not provide official support, but receiving support of any kind results in disqualification.
93. Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward hung up his football cleats in favor of cycling shoes this year. He is racing Ironman Hawaii, his first stab at the distance, after training under the guidance of eight-time Hawaii champ Paula Newby-Fraser.
94. There are Porta-Potties on the run course for emergencies, but many athletes elect to take care of business on their own terms.
95. Considering the quality of the field, finishing rates are quite high despite the tough conditions in Hawaii. Last year there were 1,883 finishers, and a 4.9 percent DNF rate.
96. September’s inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe had a 20% DNF rate.
97. The five most common med tent visits in Kona: dehydration/exhaustion, GI issues, cramping, blisters, minor injuries (road rash, contusions, ankle sprains, etc.).
98. The female professionals start five minutes behind the males and 25 minutes ahead of the age groupers. The idea is to find the sweat spot that prevents the women from overtaking the slowest male pros or riding alongside the fastest age groupers so they can race without interference.
99. Athletes can make it to Ironman Hawaii in four different ways. Qualifying at Ironman or select Ironman 70.3 races is how most people punch their ticket. Other routes include the Ironman Lottery and Legacy programs, winning one of the eBay auctions for the (very expensive) charity-donation slots or being invited by Ironman for promotional reasons such as celebrities and Kona Inspired athletes.
100. 100 slots are allocated to the Ironman Legacy program that launched in 2012. Athletes who have completed 12 or more Ironman-branded iron-distance races, including at least one IM in 2011 and 2012, and are signed up for another in 2013 are eligible for one of the 100 Legacy slots, as long as they are also an Ironman Hawaii virgin.
101. Matt Lieto, Michael Lovato and 1994 Kona champ Greg Welch will be announcing this year’s race on Ironman Live, a streaming race update provided by Ironman.
Steve Godwin, Jené Shaw, Kurt Hoy, Liz Hichens and Bethany Mavis contributed to this story.
RELATED – Kona Ironman: Pros Ride the Queen K