HONOLULU (AP) - An Ironman coach says he plans to bring about 35 athletes to compete in the Big Island race despite the Kilauea lava eruptions that continue to devastate parts of the island.
The Star-Advertiser reports that 22-time Ironman finisher Raul Torres of Honolulu called the eruptions beautiful, yet terrifying. Ironman spokesman Dan Berglund said the race will continue as scheduled.
The half-Ironman course involves a 1.2-mile (1.9-kilometer) swim at Hapuna Beach State Park, followed by a 56-mile (90-kilometer) bike loop up the Kohala coastline to Hawi and back, capped by a 13.1-mile (21-kilometer) run on Fairmont Orchid resort grounds. About 1,600 athletes are registered.
Berglund said that while there had been recent reports of air quality concerns in the town of Kailua-Kona, air quality along the Kohala Coast has been considered OK.