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WATER, ICE, COKE, REPEAT: UNDERSTANDING KONA

September 19, 2019

WATER, ICE, COKE, REPEAT: UNDERSTANDING KONA

Described as one of the toughest endurance races around - what is it that keeps luring top Pros and age groupers alike back to the heat box and suffer fest that is  IRONMAN KONA. We sat down for a quick Q & A with Laura Siddall to get the insights...
 
Explain Kona to someone who doesn’t know IRONMAN®. Why is this race the pinnacle for many triathletes?
Kona is classed as the IRONMAN branded World Championships. For endurance athletes, we don't get the opportunity to compete at the Olympics, so many triathletes in the sport consider Kona a similar opportunity. 
 
How does one qualify for Kona? What’s required to get to the start?Qualification for Kona is by slot allocation at one of the many races around the world. Slots are allocated to each Age Group, or for the Pros, to the Pro Men and Pro Women. It's based on the number of entries on the start list in that category. Come race day, you are competing to become an Ironman and cross that finish line, but also for those wanting to get to Kona, they are competing for a slot, and being one of the top athletes in their Age Group

 

Why do you continue coming back to Kona?
Ha Ha! I really don't know! Like many I think I have a love hate relationship with Kona. I know I've not had my best race there, or even one that I feel is reflective of what I'm capable of. However, I also race a lot over the season and so never focus my year solely on Kona, which then perhaps makes it harder to perform at your very best on that day. However, there's obviously something that does pull me back each year, as I'll be lining up again in 2020. There is something that draws me to compete and to be standing on that start line, side by side with the best women in the world. 
 
What’s your favourite memory from Kona?
I think the memories from Kona are about connecting with all the friends  you've met through the sport from around the world. This could be athletes, spectators, event teams, media, sponsors and partners. It's a real buzz to be able to see so many familiar faces and people you've met through the sport. Also to see how much it means to the athletes who get there. It's the people and the stories that make the  memories for me.
What shoes do you plan to race in this year at Kona, and why?
My go to race favourite Hoka's are the Tracers. I simply love these shoes, however I'm pretty torn at the moment with the new Carbon X, so I'll either race in the Carbon X or the Tracers




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