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Favorite Places to Run – Ironman Marathon Route

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Photo by Chris McCormack / CC BY

On our vacation to the Big Island, I was stoked (excited) about where the fam (family) and I were staying. Ali’i Drive (dramatic pause). Yes, Ali’i Drive. The same road that is part of the marathon course for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The first morning, I was out the door at 6am. Unfortunately, I didn’t research the marathon route and ran in the wrong direction! After a mile, there was this huge hill that I died trying to climb. Actually, I made it to the top but had to slow to a walk a couple of times (or a few times).

This is hill I died on!

Now, I did see a few runners/walkers and encountered many cyclists so at least I wasn’t alone in my agony! Later on, I finally did google the marathon course so I was ready to go the next morning. At the break of dawn, I was back out there. This time I was running in the right direction.

There are some great beaches and ocean views on Ali’i Drive. There were lots of runners (and lots of hotels and resorts) that gave me inspiration and some inner competition (racing against another runner without them knowing it).

Bike lanes for runner & cyclists!

The road is very safe with bike lanes on both sides of the street. There will be some cyclists so stay focused on the road ahead of you. If you run far enough north, you will run into Historic Kailua Village which will be crowded with restaurants, shops, cars and people.

You can run around 5 1/2 miles, on Ali’i Drive, from the Kona Coast Resort (where I stayed) to the end of the road. You can’t really run on Ka’ahumanu Highway though I did see some cyclists, on the highway, outside of Kona and past the airport. So…if you want to run the entire marathon course, it is possible. On to the photos!!!

Kahalu’u Beach Park…duh!

La’aloa (very sacred) Bay Beach Park!

Beautiful view of the coastline!

Lots of vacation homes around here!

Roadside shrine!

Passing some resorts!

Another Beach Park!

A very small church and the southern turnaround point of the Ironman marathon!

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