Pro triathlete James Cunnama has raced the Ironman World Championships in Kona six times previously, and has two top-five finishes. His wisdom on how to get the most out of a trip to Hawaii is hard-earned, so who better to tell you what to pack for the big dance?
Besides, if you dug a tunnel from Mauna Loa – the towering active volcano presiding over the World Champs course – through the Earth, you’d pop up in James’s backyard in South Africa. Which makes his journey to Kona one of the longest.
- Travel socks
- Neck pillow
- Drink bottle and electrolyte tabs
- Sleeping pills
- Pro Tip: Pack snacks – lots.
- Comfortable shoes – you’ll walk a lot, even if you try not to. Don’t ruin your race feet walking around in flip-flops
- Sunblock – don’t get burnt before the race
- Cool, comfortable clothes
- Lots of t-shirts – you’ll change three times a day as you get used to the heat
- Ear plugs and eye mask – you can’t predict your neighbours
Pro Tip: Stay in the air conditioning and download plenty of your favorite TV programs
- Spare tire (or two) – there’s lots of debris in the yellow line when training
- Travel turbo trainer
- Swim skin – don’t forget this.
- Extra goggles
- Sunblock – you’ll get burnt in the race, but it’s worth a try
- Nutrition – see my point about the race expo below!
- Elastic bands for bike shoes – bumps on the way out of T1 claim shoes every year
- Number belt
- Run hat and sunglasses
Pro Tip: have it all set to go before you leave – running around the race expo is for souvenirs, not race stuff. If anything does need last-minute attention, use the on-site brand experts, like the ENVE team, who will be setup at the expo.
Leave at home
- Hoodies and jackets (maybe one hoodie, for the over-air conditioned flight)
- Your tension and stress – enjoy the experience, don’t ruin it by taking the race (or yourself) too seriously
You can follow James on Instagram at @jamescunnama