Endura Sport

Kona calling - IRONMAN World Championship Preview


Most World Championship venues change year on year. Not the IRONMAN World Championships. Like the World Stone Skimming Championships, they remain in the same place year after year, although the leading lights of the IRONMAN world will be travelling to The Big Island of Hawai'i, rather than the tiny Scottish island of Eilean Èisdeal...



The elite of the elite of the long distance triathlon world are once again heading to Kona for the 42nd edition of the IRONMAN World Championships. The culmination of a year of qualification for pros and age-groupers alike, there really is nothing like the Kona course - a 2.4 miles swim in Kailua-Kona Bay, a 112 miles bike leg across lava fields to to Hāwī and back, followed by a full marathon (26 miles 385 yards along the coast of the Big Island from Keauhou to Keahole Point and back to Kailua-Kona. Often race in scorching heat, Kona always produces worth champions.



Four of Endura’s sparkling roster of triathletes will be making their way to IRONMAN’s spiritual home to race in their new world beating QDC D2Z tri suits, securing their spots with outstanding results over the past year. Take a look at our contenders:


Lucy Charles
One of the stars of our #AllTribesAllWoman campaign this spring is also one of the brightest stars in IRONMAN racing. As an Olympic hopeful swimmer turned triathlete, Lucy simply flies through the water and is often the fastest through the swim – female or male. Charles surprised some (but not us) with a second place finish in last year’s World Championships after leading for much of the day and has been in fine form again this season, claiming the IRONMAN African Championships back in April and winning a silver medal in the IRONMAN 70.3 Championships just a few weeks ago.



Tim Don
What can be said about Tim’s return to Kona? We’ll settle for miraculous (with inspirational a close second). This time last year, Tim was heading into Kona after a stunning year, where he smashed the world record for an IRONMAN event in 7:40:23 at the IRONMAN South American Championships in Brazil and looked like one of the hot picks for glory. Instead, Tim was hit by a car whilst out training on the Queen K and suffered a fractured neck. Lucky to survive with all parts intact, Tim spend three months in a HALO device – a story captured in The Man with the Halo – before amazing everyone by returning to competition at the Boston Marathon, just six months after his horror injury. Tim then returned to IRONMAN action before clinching his Kona spot for what will be an emotional return to Hawai’i.



Susie Cheetham
Since bursting onto the long-distance scene at Ironman 70.3. Antwerp in 2011, Susie has notched up an impressive string of results in Ironman 70.3, Ironman and Challenge events with victories every season since 2013. A formidable runner, the Briton finished sixth in Kona last year and booked her Kona slot nice and early with a second place finish at the IRONMAN South African Championships behind Lucy in the spring.



Joe Skipper
Joe Skipper is one of the most talented British long distance triathletes on the circuit and is tipped for big things in long course racing. In September 2017, Skipper claimed the biggest result of his career at the Challenge Almere-Amsterdam where he was crowned European Long Distance Triathlon champion. Victory at Ironman UK in July and a strong performance in Ironman Hamburg means that Skipper will be heading back to the Worlds with high hopes of a good finish, as long as he can master the conditions.




Photos: BrakeThrough Media / Sean Hardy