Ironman Hawaii as a privilege for the rich: price explosion on Kona

If you are not a sponsored top athlete like Patrick Lange (here after his victory in 2017), you have to dig deep into your pockets in Hawaii.
Image: dpa

Hotel rooms for 4,820 euros per night, an entry fee of 1,120 dollars, plus flights and meals: the famous triathlon in Kona has become a luxury – and therefore a privilege for the rich. What’s behind it?

ADreams came true again on Sunday. At the Ironman in Frankfurt, 60 triathletes, all recreational athletes, in different age groups qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in October. On Monday they hobbled up to the podium at the awards ceremony, a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.195km run in limbs. You’ve been asked if you’re going to claim the right to compete in Hawaii. As every year, most of them pulled out their credit cards with beaming eyes. The $1,120 entry fee (around €1,060) for Hawaii had to be paid on the spot. If someone gave up, a replacement was there.

Now it is within reach, the big dream. But when things go badly, it can also become a nightmare. With 1120 dollars it is not done. Not even with the 10,000 euros that had to be estimated in the past for those who traveled to Kona on the Big Island with a companion.

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