If the triathlon world cannot go to Kona then Kona must go to the triathlon world, and this weekend that is pretty much what will happen.
Saturday should have marked the return of the IRONMAN World Championship to ‘The Big Island’ after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the 2020 event to be postponed.
Hawaii is still not in a position to host the event yet though, and it will now be October 2022 at earliest before the event returns to its spiritual home. The delayed 2021 event will now take place in May 2022 in St George, Utah.
Uniting around Kona date
There will doubtless be a tinge of sadness around the world this weekend as professionals and age-groupers imagine what might have been. So to fill the void Zwift have once again organised ’17 Hours Of Kona’, which is designed to unite the community around the key date in the calendar.
The online social event will take place on Saturday and Sunday (October 9 and 10) and gives everybody the opportunity to virtually ride and run with some of the world’s greatest triathletes.
Some of the sport’s royalty, both past and present, will lead Zwift riders and runners through 60-minute sessions across the two-day event. The likes of three-time IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander, 2014 IRONMAN World Champion Sebastian Kienle and 2021 70.3 IRONMAN World Champion Lucy-Charles Barclay will be involved.
Other high-profile names leading sections of the event include Joe Skipper, Kat Matthews, Tim Don, David McNamee, Joe Gambles, Ben Hoffman, Meredith Kessler and many, many more.
The event is not a race, but a celebration of a difficult few years triathlon has had in the midst of a global pandemic, as those involved reminisce about their races at Kona and discuss the return there in 2022.
The event kicks off at 0700 Hawaiian Time (1800 UK, 1300 ET, 1000 PT) on Saturday, October 9 with the final hour-session ending 17 hours later at midnight Kona time.
17 Hours Of Kona – the schedule
The current schedule is as follows:
RIDE 1 Joe Skipper / Kat Matthews
RIDE 2 Joe Gambles
RIDE 3 Sarah True / Mark Allen
RIDE 4 Ben Hoffman / Meredith Kessler
RIDE 5 Tim Reed
RIDE 6 TBD
RIDE 7 Craig Alexander / Andy Potts
RIDE 8 Cameron Brown / Kangsub Song (ZATRI)
RIDE 9 Eric Engel (ZATRI)
RIDE 10 Kristen Yax (ZATRI)
RIDE 11 TBD
RIDE 12 Josh Amberger / Vanessa Murray (ZATRI)
RIDE 13 Frederik Van Lierde / Lukas Bosmans (ZATRI)
RIDE 14 Tim Don / Sebastian Kienle
RIDE 15 Imogen Simmonds / Patrik Nilsson
RIDE 16 Lucy Charles-Barclay / Reece Charles-Barclay
RIDE 17 David McNamee / Ronnie Schildknecht
RUN 1 Sebastian Kienle
RUN 2 Joe Skipper / Meredith Kessler
RUN 3 TBD
RUN 4 Kangsub Song (ZATRI)
RUN 5 TBD
RUN 6 TBD
RUN 7 TBD
RUN 8 Tim Don / Craig Alexander
RUN 9 Lukas Bosmans (ZATRI) / Rebecca Duxbury (ZATRI)