Ironman 70.3 Hawaii. The only Hawaii qualifier for the World Championship, the spring Ironman 70.3 Hawaii triathlon begins with a swim at Hapuna Beach, then moves to biking for 56 miles on Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway with turnaround in Hawi, and finishes with a 13-mile run through the Fairmont Orchid resort grounds. Hawaii. www.ironman703hawaii.com.
Ironman World Championship. Staged annually since 1978, the Ironman World Championship is the granddaddy of all triathlons. For about two weeks in early October, Kailua-Kona takes on the vibe of an Olympic Village as 2,000 top athletes from across the globe and their supporters roam the town, carb-loading, training, and prepping in advance of the world's premier swim-bike-run endurance event. The competition starts at Kailua Pier with a 2.4-mile open-water swim, followed by a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile marathon. The week prior is filled with fun community events such as the Underpants Run, in which locals and visitors—as well as well-known celebrities—run through town in only their knickers. Only qualified athletes may participate, but if you are visiting during Ironman and want to volunteer, contact [email protected] www.ironmanworldchampionship.com.
Peaman Running Events. Beloved by the Kona community, Sean "Peaman" Pagett has been a Kona icon for decades, putting on no-cost running and biathlon events, suitable for the whole family. All events are free and have no entry forms. 808/938--2296; www.kona5k.com.