Thirty-five years ago a naval officer invented a race to find the toughest athlete among swimmers, bikers, and runners. Fifteen athletes participated in the first challenge by completing the 3 toughest endurance races as a single event -- and the winner was crowned the IRONMAN. At that time the rules were simple: "Swim 2.4 miles. Bike 112 miles. Run 26.2 miles. Brag for the rest of your life!" In 1981 the event moved from Waikiki to Kona and now thousands of international competitors take part in the 140-mile challenge held annually in June.
Kailua-Kona, the start and finish of the Hawaiian Ironman Challenge, was our vacation condo "home" for this trip. Our challenge was NOT to win an endurance race -- but to relax and explore the Big Island by car and by foot at a more leisurely pace. For us a "winning" outcome was discovery -- equally satisfying and something we'll remember forever.
sHawaii is the perfect island island for athletic challenges, as well as curious exploration, due to its extreme landscape including rocky beaches, barron landscapes, and rain forests with gushing waterfalls. To top it off, each daily adventure was perfectly completed with a glass of wine on our condominium balcony while witnessing an inspirational sunset over the Pacific Ocean.