Kona triathletes to strip down for good cause - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kona triathletes to strip down for good cause

Photo Source: Lee Gruenfeld Photo Source: Lee Gruenfeld

The tradition continues Thursday in Kona on the Big Island when hundreds take part in the 16th annual Underpants Run!

Athletes are expected to strip down to their skivvies for a charity run that has become an annual tradition before Saturday's Ironman race.

First conceived in 1998 as a protest against wearing Speedos in inappropriate places (stores, restaurants, etc.) the Underpants Run has become an Ironman pre-event ice breaker and local fundraiser. 

Over the past 16 years, the fun-run has raised more than $100,000 for local charities through donations.

The 1.2 mile race is Thursday, October 10 at  8 a.m. in front of Pacific Vibrations.

For more information on the run, visit the Underpants Run Kona website.

Here is a look at this year's race charities.

VASH is the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii on Hawaii Island.

Our Mission is to share the aloha spirit with visitors affected by adversity.

We recognize that even during the fun and relaxation of vacations, unfortunate events can happen. And when far from home, visitors do not usually have access to their own support systems and resources.

VASH assistance is designed to help visitors cope with and recover from a variety of unfortunate situations such as crime victimization, the loss of a purse or wallet, medical situations, or the death of a loved one. When we receive referrals from the Hawaii`i County Police Department, local area hospitals, airport security and others in the visitor industry, we assess each visitor's situation and needs on a case by case basis to offer appropriate supportive services.

Our Vision is that every visitor touched by adversity will also be touched by the aloha spirit. Our hope is that the stories our visitors tell upon returning home are all about the care and love they received – the aloha – rather than being about the unfortunate incident.

For more information visit vashbigisland.org

Ahu'ena Heiau

The Ahu'ena Heiau rock platform base, perimeter wooden fencing, Anu'u Tower and an uprooted ki'i were all damaged from the recent tsunami.

Ahu'ena Heiau, Inc. has surveyed the damage, consulted the State Historic Preservation Division and is working closely with a qualified historical site restorations coordinator. We are currently seeking grants to repair and restore the tsunami damage.

Kamakahonu Bay at Historic Kailua Village.

The Ahu'ena Heiau (recently restored) is the religious temple that served Kamehameha the Great when he returned to the Big Island in 1812.

The center of political power in the Hawaiian kingdom during Kamehameha's golden years, his biggest advisors gathered at the heiau each night. Three momentous events occurred here which established Ahu'ena Heiau as the most historically significant site in Hawaii:

  • In the early morning hours of May 8, 1819 King Kamehameha I died here.
  • A few months after the death of his father, in a time of political consternation and threat of civil war Liholiho (Kamehameha II) broke the ancient kapu system, a highly defined regime of taboos that provided the framework of the traditional Hawaiian government.
  • The first Christian missionaries from New England were granted permission to come ashore here on April 4, 1820.

Not until the mid-1970s, over 150 years after these historical events unfolded, was an accurate restoration project under taken. A community-based committee Ahu'ena Heiau Inc., formed in 1993 to permanently guide the restoration and maintenance of this national treasure.

For more information, visit ahuenaheiau.net

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