Kona is regarded as the pinnacle of endurance events and each year as the sport moves on and competition becomes more fierce the event gains an even greater allure. Legends have been created on the ‘Big Island’, and 2018’s edition of the race is set to be the most eagerly anticipated in recent years. Millions of spectators will be tracking the race live from around the globe, tuning in to the world’s best battling it out for the IRONMAN world title. Many athletes will be showcasing equipment launches, and developments as triathlon brands test out new innovations in the toughest single-day sporting event. Kona is now seen to be at the forefront of technology as companies compete in the search for speed.
Each year the men’s field becomes increasingly more competitive. In recent years we have seen a domination by the Germans, with Jan Frodeno, Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange taking the title, although these names (excluding Frodeno, who is out with injury) still remain among the favourites. Lionel Sanders (CAN) and David McNamee (GBR) present a real threat to disrupt the recent trend. The move of athletes from ITU to long course has arguably led to the explosion of talent onto the scene, with 2008’s Olympic Champion Jan Frodeno the biggest instigator. This year past ITU athletes include McNamee, Tim Don, Will Clarke, Ivan Tutukin and Javier Gomez among others. In 2017 we saw records smashed as athletes were pushed to their very limits and this year will be no different. Ex-professional cyclist Cameron Wurf (AUS) will be looking to better his bike record, and run course, the overall record holder Lange will be going head to head with McNamee and Gomez. HUUB’s interests lie with McNamee, Anthony Costes (FRA), Tyler Butterfield (BER) and Kevin Collington (USA).