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Ironman Triathlon, Molokai Hoe canoe race happening this weekend. Where to watch live.


Two of Hawaii’s most-enduring homegrown sports events happen this weekend: The Ironman World Triathlon Championship on Saturday, Oct. 9, and the Molokai Hoe Molokai-to-Oahu outrigger canoe race on Sunday, Oct. 10.

If you’re on the right islands this weekend, you could watch at least one of them in-person. If not, you can catch at least one of them on the Web.

Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island’s perpetually sunny west side, hosts the Ironman World Triathlon Championship annually. The race—celebrating its 32nd birthday this year—is the granddaddy of triathlons and remains the most world-renowned. The first three competitions—which attracted at first only dozens of athletes, and weren’t even called Ironman—were held on Oahu, before moving to the Big Island in 1981.

Ironman_Triathlon_Molokai_Hoe_outrigger_canoe_raceOne of the most grueling tests of the physical capabilities of the human body, any triathlon is crazy tough to finish. But the stakes are always higher, the prize and bragging rights always bigger, and the course itself always notoriously grueling at the world championship Kona Ironman.

The all-day event starts with a 2.4 mile ocean swim in Kailua-Kona Bay and moves right into a 112-mile bike ride across the searing hot lava fields of the South Kohala coast up the windswept North Kohala coast to Hawi town and back to Kailua-Kona. Competitors then hit the pavement right away for a full 26.2 mile marathon back into the lava fields. The Ironman finishes back at the Kailua-Kona bayfront where it all started.

Ironman_Triathlon_Molokai_Hoe_outrigger_canoe_raceThe record time for completing the Kona Ironman? Belgian Luc Van Lierde’s 8 hour, 4 minute and 8 second win back in 1996. Last year’s winner, Australian Craig Alexander finished the course in 8 hours, 20 minutes and 21 seconds, while Briton Chrissie Wellington set a womens’ all-time record of 8 hours, 54 minutes, 2 seconds.

The Ironman is so prestigious among triathlons that each of its 1,800-plus participants has to qualify in other sanctioned international triathlons just to enter. The event’s athletes prepare months in advance for their moment in Kona. If you’ve been in Kailua-Kona the last couple of weeks, it’s likely you’ve seen triathletes training alongside Queen Kaahumanu Highway for the Ironman’s running and biking portions.

The best place to watch Ironman? The start- and finish-line at Kailua-Kona’s bayfront wall, where there will be lots of cool stuff happening all day.

The Molokai Hoe Molokai-to-Oahu outrigger canoe race is less well-known outside of Hawaii, but no less a monumental test of human endurance. Hoe is pronounced “ho-eh,” without a glottal stop. It’s the Hawaiian word for paddle, or the act of paddling.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Ironman Triathlon, Molokai Hoe headline sports-filled October in Hawaii
Ironman Triathlon, Molokai Hoe test endurance this weekend
World’s largest long-distance outrigger canoe race set for Saturday on Kona Coast

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