Lavaman change sparks rush
By Micah Lewter
Lavaman Keauhou organizers wanted to make a change this year.
Traditionally, the triathlon was held at the end of August, sort of the final tuneup for the Ironman World Championships.
But this year, the race was moved to the Sunday before Thanksgiving, which is this Sunday.
So what has been the result?
Registration did not end until Friday, but by Tuesday, there had already been about 500 racers registered for the event. In 2011, there were about 240 athletes.
Race director Gerry Rott said the decision to move the race came after discussions with athletes.
“(They said) August too hot; school getting back in,” Rott said. “Then also from the point of view of the hotel. We can use the week before the holiday. It helps to bring in more people off island stay in a longer time.”
The proximity of the national holiday also brought a greater number of traveling racers. In 2011, there were only 43 off-island athletes. So far this year, there are 170. And those off-island athletes can stay on island longer since the holiday is upcoming.
But there are more changes in effect for Sunday’s 0.9-mile swim, 26.6-mile bicycle ride and 6.2-mile run that starts at 7:30 a.m. at Keauhou Sheraton.
This year, there will be prize money available, and not just for the professionals.
“We have prize money for the top three women and top three men,” Rott said. “You don’t have to be pro to win. An age-grouper can win the money.
“The prizes are $1,000 for first, $750 for second and $500 third.”
Rott warned that parking will be a challenge Sunday. She suggested people to park either at the Keauhou Shopping Center or at Kona Gardens across from the former Outrigger. There will be shuttles running from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Sunday’s race will feature five professional athletes, including defending champion Tim Marr. He claimed the title a year ago with a time of 1 hour, 58 minutes, 20 seconds. The Oahu athlete finished third in April’s Lavaman Waikoloa.
Kailua-Kona’s Luis De La Torre is also registered to participate on Sunday. Iowa’s Robert Duncan and Australia’s Ben Hammond are the other two professional men registered at press time.
Australia’s Brooke Langereis is the only professional woman triathlete registered for Sunday’s event.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.