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Kona-Waikoloa during Ironman?

elaine

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hi. I 'm debating which week to pick for late Sept-mid Oct 2021. Ironman, if it keeps original date is Sat Oct 9, 2021. It was postponed from Oct 2020 to Feb 2021--so I wonder if that affects the 2021 date?
I am planning a stay at a Waikoloa resort Sat 10/2-10/9. Will I be able to find a place in Waikoloa to stay the night during the race? I imagine checking in 10/9 would not be a good idea.
also, we might want to drive over to Hilo on 10/9 and stay for a few nights. Would Ironman affect that drive? We could also stay 9/25-10/2 and depart for another island if anyone with knowledge of Ironman recommends that. thanks, Elaine
 

Sandy VDH

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The day of the race is hard, as the hwy is closed between Kona and Waikoloa. You have to go the back route, which is narrow and gets crowded. Otherwise I have been there during ironman. My only advice is the day of the race, just stay put and don't go anywhere. You will notice a lot of people on the hwy biking in prep in the weeks leading up to the race, so be careful during that month before.

Kona to Hilo would be ok, as saddle road would be open and the northern route will be open. But as I mentioned getting to saddle road from Waikola will be busier than normal.

I generally would avoid check in day as the same day as race day.
 

elaine

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thanks. so, would the northern route from Waikoloa to Hilo be more crowded on race day? I think we will likely check in on 10/2 and out on 10/9 (race day).
 

Sandy VDH

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thanks. so, would the northern route from Waikoloa to Hilo be more crowded on race day? I think we will likely check in on 10/2 and out on 10/9 (race day).

No idea. I didn't drive that day, and people I spoke to said it was a pain to get from Kona. I would assume some uptick in traffic, just for people looking to get away from the traffic on race day.
 

Sandy VDH

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Here is the route

1592858803731.png
 

elaine

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is it the same each year?
 

Sandy VDH

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SmithOp

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I stayed in Waikoloa last October during the race, I played golf that day. It was an easy drive early along the mountainside route in to Kona. I played just up the hill from the airport.

The return was a little heavier traffic but not too bad, nothing like CA traffic I deal with. It took me about 15 min in line to cross the hwy back in to the resort, there was a traffic cop waving the cars across during gaps in the bikers.

It should be an easy drive to Hilo, that is the shortest route from Kona along the mountainside to the saddle rd. The road is not bad, nothing like the road to Hana.

Hotel may be difficult, book early.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

Blues

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They do their best to expedite traffic, as far as possible. I, being cluelessly unaware of Ironman, booked us at HGVC Kingsland in Waikoloa during Ironman week a few years back. (Us being, me, DW, DS, DDIL, and granddaughter). Worse, I booked our flight back on Ironman Saturday. When I found out, there was little I could do. So we left for the airport about 3 hours before our flight. Which turned out to be way too soon -- we spent a couple of hours at Kona airport, cooling our heels (and it was hot). Better than missing our flight to the mainland, since we didn't know what to expect.

What they did was they opened the "back entrance" to Waikoloa Beach Drive, because that goes straight through to Waikoloa Rd. We had to sit in line while they waited for breaks in the Ironman traffic on 19, and they'd let 4-6 cars through at a time when there was a large enough break. We waited probably 10 minutes for our turn. Then, as described above, they had us take the upper road (190) to near the airport, which was a bit slow but not too bad. And then through Kalaoa to the airport. At the airport, there was the reverse process of waiting for a break. So it was a bit of an adventure, but not too bad.

If you have existing accommodations reserved, you should be fine. But if you're saying you have nothing reserved for race day, then yes I think you may run into a problem there.
 

elaine

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We check out on race day. We're planning to drive the northern route to Hilo to see volcanoes. I will reserve Hilo hotel at 1 year out. I assume Hilo would not be very impacted?
thanks for the tips. I'll be sure to prepay rental car.
 
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Sandy VDH

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No impacts to Hilo, other than that is the day when others get out of Kona, so there might be a slight uptick in traffic.
 

elaine

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thanks. We'll plan to take the North road over to Hilo for a few days.
 
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