At the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship a number of activities took place leading up to race day on Saturday, October 12. Last week’s activities included, the Aloha Reception & IRONMAN Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony, as well as the annual Kona Underpants Run.
Aloha Reception & IRONMAN Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
In a busy reception, legendary IRONMAN athletes Michellie Jones and Tim DeBoom as well as IRONMAN contributors Kenneth Gasque and Jan War were inducted into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame.
The pre-race press conference had the world’s leading long course pros giving their input ahead of race day, as well as some inspiring individuals taking on the course at Kona.
Underpants Run Kona
One of the most entertaining events of race week kicked off at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel as hundreds of participants lined up for the custom known as the Kona Underpants Run. Conceived in 1998 by Chris Danahy, Tim Morris and Paul Huddle as a protest against wearing Speedos in inappropriate places, the event has morphed into an IRONMAN pre-race ice breaker and local fund raiser that has become an integral part of the IRONMAN World Championship event week.
Now in its 22nd year, the event has raised over US$300,000 for local charities through donations given towards Underpants branded t-shirts, hats/visors and socks.
Many of the best athletes participating in the IRONMAN World Championship along with Kona residents and island natives embarked on this tradition to help raise money for various local charities. The 1.5-mile course took participants out onto the pier before heading south along Ali`i Drive and turning around through the loop at Uncle Billy’s Hotel.