Employees of the OHANA Keauhou Beach Resort (KBR) proudly volunteered during this year’s Ironman Triathlon World Championship event in Kailua-Kona held on Saturday, October 16. Thousands of athletes and spectators from around the world visit the Big Island annually for this grueling event that is comprised of a 2.4- mile swim, a 112-mile bike along the West coast of the island, and a 26.2-mile run — and this year was no exception.
KBR team members supported this amazing event beginning on Thursday, October 14 , by food “running” during the carbo-loading dinner that fed nearly 3,000 people. On the day of the event, some KBR volunteers assisted swimmers at the swim-to-bike transition area, while others cheered on the athletes as they crossed the finish line — as late as midnight — in downtown Kailua-Kona. Following the event, there were two evening functions. On Sunday, the Awards Ceremony honored the professional and amateur champions, and on Monday the Mahalo Party recognized volunteers for their hard work and dedication, with a combined amount of 6,700 people all fed within an hour and 15 minutes. The KBR ‘ohana continued their volunteer duties at these events as food “runners” and according to them, all that could be heard was “need more potatoes, rice, meat, fish, chicken, vegetables.”
This year’s event winners were nicknamed the “Deutschland Duo,” as both the women’s and men’s winners were from Germany. Thirty-one year old Normann Stadler was the first German man to win the men’s title since Thomas Hellriegel in 1997. Although athletes battled heavy crosswinds of 25 mph along the bike course and scorching temperatures all day long, Stadler crossed the finish line in an astonishing 8 hours, 33 minutes, and 29 seconds. Nina Kraft dominated the women’s field with her consistency in the swim and run, and like Stadler, it was her amazing bike time that crushed her competitors. Kraft finished in 9:33:25. Our top American professional male was Cameron Widoff of Boulder, Colorado. He finished 7th for the pro men in a time of 8:59:25. Mark Geoghegan of Oahu was the first State of Hawaii Finisher with a time of 10:43:28. Sherry Coons of Maui was Hawaii’s first female in 11:13:22.
The Ironman is a historical event that we look forward to every year. It brings excitement, tears of joy, and a rewarding sensation to all in involved! The economic impact of the event is incredible, with millions of dollars coming to the Big Island and Neighbor Island businesses and increased state tax revenues during what would otherwise be a very quiet tourism period. Mahalo to all our team members for their support and dedication to this Big Island event! A special mahalo to Linda Jane Kelley and her husband Sean “Peaman” Pagett who dedicated countless hours to planning and coordinating all aspects of this race to make it a success.