PAU HANA: 2022 VINFAST IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DAILY RECAP FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2022
KAILUA-KONA, Hawai`i (October 5, 2022) — The energy continued to build today as athletes prepared for the first day of racing for the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship tomorrow, Thursday, October 6. Here is the daily Pau Hana, a Hawaiian phrase meaning “end of the workday,” recapping highlights from the last 24 hours.
E Komo Mai (Welcome) Banquet
“For two years, the elements in Kona have been holding their breath, waiting for this moment to arrive,” Kahu Kealoha Sugiyama told the crowd at the E Komo Mai Banquet last night. “The elements can finally breathe a sigh of relief and say, ‘It is here! You are loved, you are welcomed, you are embraced, and you are home.’”
Athletes, too, are relieved and ecstatic to be back on the Big Island of Hawai`i for the first time since 2019. As the sun set on a beautiful day, they were warmly welcomed at the banquet in celebration of the approximately 5,000 athletes from around the world competing in the endurance event that will take place on two separate days for the first time in the history of the event.
Following welcome speakers and mesmerizing fire dancers, the IRONMAN `Ohana honored the Voice of IRONMAN, Mike Reilly, with a highlight reel of his career – including how the phrase “You are an IRONMAN” came about. After this weekend, Reilly will have announced 210 IRONMAN races and 33 IRONMAN World Championship events, cheering nearly half a million athletes over the finish line. Reilly announced in September that he will retire at the end of this season.
“It’s pretty special to be here,” said first time IRONMAN World Championship athlete Craig Stoller from New Hampshire, adding that he’s looking forward to hearing Reilly say, “You are an IRONMAN,” when he crosses the finish line Saturday.
This year’s race theme – Kū Like – means to stand together in Hawaiian, appropriate for the first race after a challenging few years across the world. “We are stronger when we stand together,” Kahu Kealoha Sugiyama said.
ATHLETE BIKE CHECK-IN | THURSDAY
Under sunny skies, the Thursday athletes put the finishing touches on their race day prep with bike and gear check-in at Kailua Pier. With Kailua Bay’s sparkling turquoise waters as the backdrop, athletes walked the red carpet along Ali’i Drive, where industry folks tally everything from bike brands to power meter models, before making their way to rack their bikes on Kailua Pier.
“They really make you feel like a celebrity [at bike check-in],” said Caitlin Alexander of Colorado. She’s always dreamed of racing the IRONMAN World Championship so said she was a little emotional as she racked her bike on the Kailua Pier.
Rochelle Youngson of New Zealand didn’t think she’d race the IRONMAN World Championship a second time – her first was in 2016 as a legacy athlete – but she qualified and got a second shot. “It’s a super special moment in your life to be here,” she said. She added that she’s excited about the two-day format and can’t wait to watch and volunteer for the men’s race on Saturday.
Pros also attended bike check-in and along the way to rack their bikes, stopped to offer words of wisdom for race day. “My best advice is to be humble,” said Lisa Nordin of Sweden, adding to find your reason “why” because it’ll be asked of you many times throughout the race.
“Everyone has eyes on the ladies,” said three-time second place finisher Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR). “It’s incredible that we get our own day.”
LOOKING AHEAD TO TOMORROW
Race day is finally here for the professional women, Hand Cyclists, PC/Open Exhibition division and some male age-groups. The action will kick off at 4.30 am (HST) on IRONMAN Now, ahead of a 06:25 am (HST) start time.