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Volcanic eruptions on the Big Island of Hawaii have triathletes around the world on high alert. Thousands of competitors, fans, and race officials are expected to descend upon the tropical destination for the June 2 FinisherPix Ironman 70.3 Hawaii on the Kohala Coast, and then again on Oct. 13 for the Ironman Championship in Kailua-Kona.
Volcanic activity on the island’s lower east side at Kilauea Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, located in Puna, is being closely monitored by Ironman officials, and both the 70.3 and the Championship are scheduled as planned. The event venues are situated along with island’s west coast, approximately 100 miles southeast of the impacted area. At press time air quality is considered good in the race areas and there’s no reported damage. The Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (west) and Hilo International Airport (east) are also continuing to operate normally.
Athlete safety is top priority, according to Ironman officials.
“As always, we closely monitor any activity that could be of direct affect to athlete safety and at this time, preparation for the 2018 FinisherPix Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i triathlon set for June 2 has not been impacted and the event remains as scheduled,” according to a statement from Ironman. “Per the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, there is absolutely no reason at this time for travelers to change or alter their leisure or business plans.”
While damage on the island has been isolated, Ironman officials say they are dedicated to helping those impacted. As of Monday, residents near the volcano were not only experiencing lava, acid rain, and vog (hazy air pollution caused by the volcanic emissions), but also laze—a toxic cloud of lava and haze that forms when hot lava hits cooler sea water. More than 2,000 residents remain under evacuation, and dozens of structures have burned.
In response to losses, the Ironman Foundation has launched a relief effort to aid local recovery. To jumpstart the humanitarian campaign, the foundation has pledged $50,000 toward the goal of raising $100,000. To donate to the Ironman Foundation Humanitarian Relief Effort, visit Ironmanfoundation.org/hawaiirelief.
Stay updated on conditions for the FinisherPix Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i on the Kohala Coast here.
For additional details and up-to-date information and the volcanic activity and impact, check out these links:
- Hawaii Department of Health (air quality): Hiso2index.info
- United States Geological Survey: Volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/status
- Island of Hawaii Visitor’s Bureau: Gohawaii.com/islands/hawaii-big-island
- Hawaii Civil Defense: Hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts
- National Park Service: Nps.gov/havo/index.htm