There are countless things that make the Big Island of Hawai’i a place like no other: the ‘aina, the kama’aina, the aloha spirit, and the food, just to name a few of our favorites. Eager travelers the world over continue to make our island home one of the most sought-after destinations on the planet, and this fall will also see the return of a longstanding Big Island tradition bringing travelers and the local community alike together to bear witness: The Ultraman World Championships!
That’s right—40 athletes, making their way across 320 miles of often-rugged (yet always gorgeous) terrain, over three days this coming November 25th through the 27th on the Big Island of Hawaii...and for the first time in three years! The 2020 and 2021 races were canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, which makes the 2022 race extra special for participants and spectators both.
The inaugural Ultraman was held back in 1983, soon becoming an annual event that tests the mettle of competitors the world over who come to the Big Island and seek its completion. According to the official website, the event was created not only for athletic competition but also to focus on the guiding principles of Hawaiian culture: aloha, ‘ohana, and kokua. As such, Ultraman has never offered its winning contestants any prize money, and the event has remained largely unchanged save for a course correction in 2001 which brought the challenge full-circle, literally, by having it begin and end in scenic Kailua-Kona.
The Ultraman World Championships requires that each participant complete a 6.2 mile ocean swim on Day 1, a 261.4 mile bike ride on Day 2, and a 52.4 ultra-marathon run on Day 3, with each day needing to be completed in 12 hours or less by the fearless competitors who take this challenge on (and in less than six hours for the swimming portion). Operating on an invitation-only basis, participants must be accompanied by at least two people over the entirety of the course for safety’s sake, as this often-merciless challenge is certainly not for the faint of heart (nor the faint of fitness!).
It’s an annual tradition for Big Island citizens to gather along parts of the path to watch and cheer on the challengers who dare to take on such a Herculean task, and several outposts are designated along the island-wide course to welcome them. We’re certainly glad to welcome these athletes back after such a long time away, and we wish the best of luck to all the competitors this coming November!
For more information on the Ultraman, check out the following links:
Oh, and should you spot the perfect home there in the distance as you watch all the athletic drama unfold, then give Karen Bail, the Big Island’s reigning champion in customer satisfaction, a call today to get started on making that new neighborhood your ‘ohana’s next home. Aloha!