For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
Online editor Liz Hichens provides daily updates from Kona leading up to the Ironman World Championship.
While this is my first time in Kona, I have a hard time believing that what I witnessed this morning at the Kona Pier is commonplace, even in the week leading up to the Ironman World Championship.
After interviewing Linsey Corbin yesterday, we were chatting with Corbin and she mentioned that several professionals meet up on Friday mornings at the pier to swim the course. She said that the group had started out with just a few of them, but in the last couple of weeks had grown quite a bit. I’m not sure even Corbin knew how big their group would get on the Friday eight days out from race day.
When we arrived at 6:45 a.m. the group looked small at first, but quickly grew. By 7 a.m. Craig Alexander, Mirinda Carfrae, Linsey Corbin, Chris Lieto, Ben Hoffman, Normann Stadler, Dirk Bockel, Torenzo Bozzone and Belinda Granger, just to name a few, had lined up and were ready to take on the course. Unlike most warm up swims I’ve seen, the group of nearly 30 jumped into the water in a fashion that looked very similar to the start of a race. Almost the entire group swam the entire course at what looked to be very close to race pace.
And while Corbin had mentioned that they usually turn around at the half-way point of the swim and return to the shore and repeat, that was not the case today. The competitive spirit of the group took the athletes all the way to the end of the swim course and back. The competitive spirit is definitely in the air in Kona.
Check out a couple of shots below from the day, and click on the video player to see video from the morning.