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2019 IRONMAN® World Championship Photos

2019 IRONMAN® World Championship Photos

Chance of Chance Punahele Photography captured some amazing images of IRONMAN® triathletes as they completed the final leg of the 140.6-mile journey.

The IRONMAN® World Championship took place on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Since the ‘80s this race has been the ultimate test of mental and physical strength. Competitors swim 2.4 miles (3.86 km) in Kailua Bay, bike a 112 miles (180.25 km) across the lava desert to Hāwī and back, then run a marathon (26 miles 385 yards, 42.195 km) along the coast from Kailua-Kona to Keahole Point and back to Kailua-Kona.


2019 marked the first year Kona Coffee & Tea has sponsored a sole athlete competing in the IRONMAN® World Championship. Francisco “Cisco” Besa is a morning regular at our Kailua-Kona café and has an incredible story leading to his IRONMAN® qualification. We're proud to report that Cisco completed the race in 13 hours and 55 seconds and has earned the title of IRONMAN®.

We caught up with Cisco after the race to see how it went for him. Here’s what he had to say:

BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!!!! This is how I’m gonna describe this race.

SWIM • lots of emotions heading to the swim start in the morning, since swimming is my favorite leg my plan was to enjoy the swim treat like a warm-up.

BIKE • the bike is one the thing I’m gonna work on.. but I still did great (didn’t cramp). The plan was to enjoy the bike ride to Hawi and push on my way back. THEN the .....

RUN • I came off bike trying to find my legs. The plan for my marathon to go easy on the half, eat, hydrate, and smile. I did this on the first half, heading out to OTEC. Coming back to town to the finish is the hardest part, especially the seven miles with a small incline from Queen K to the old Ross.

Overall, the best part of the experience were the volunteers on the course that played a HUGE part of this event. They’re just amazing out there and most of these people knew me too!

Learn more about Cisco’s story here.

Our incredible Iron Brew Crew was up before the sun on race day, making coffee for our outdoor booth along the Palani Road race course. Our Private Party Sponsors, HOKA & Gatorade, were extremely kind and generous to not only our staff but also to some Servicemen whom they invited to join them in food & beverage. Also pictured are some of the platters served at the HOKA & Gatorade Private Party held at Kona Coffee & Tea.

Let us host your next special event! Just show up and we'll take care of the rest. Contact us for more information about private events.

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FAVORITE KONA COFFEE & TEA DRINK: “The Hapa” - medium drip 100% Kona coffee, with vanilla and whipped cream

IF I COULD HAVE A SUPERPOWER: I would want to breathe underwater

I was born and raised in Kailua-Kona and have been a part of the Kona Coffee & Tea `ohana for two years now. I’m a barista at the Kailua-Kona café and part of the digital marketing team. My favorite thing about working at Kona Coffee & Tea is the great community of people that come into the café everyday.
When I’m not making a mean 100% Kona pour over, I’m taking photos. I’m the owner of Chance Punahele Photography. My favorite subjects to shoot are real estate and landscapes.

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