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Every fall our tranquil town of Kailua-Kona comes alive with thousands of triathletes from around the world and their followers.  These athletes come to test their bodies and minds with one of the most grueling triathlons on the planet: The IRONMAN® World Championship. For the athletes it’s a test of spirit and endurance, swimming, biking, and running a 140.6-mile journey in the scorching Kona sun. For the spectators, it’s an inspiring spectacle and display of human ability.  Every year we cheer on the triathletes as the racecourse passes our Kailua-Kona café.

It all starts with the swim in Kailua Bay. 

It all starts with the swim in Kailua Bay. 



An IRONMAN® Triathlon is a series of long-distance races consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.

In the early ‘70’s, U.S. Navy Commander, John Collins, who was one of the greatest catalysts behind modern-day Triathlon, said, "Whoever finishes first, we'll call him the Iron Man." And that’s how the term “IRONMAN®” came to be.



From 1978 through 1980 the race was held on the island of Oahu. In 1980 the race was moved to the less urbanized Big Island where the course became: an open water swim in Kailua-Kona Bay, a bike ride across the Hawaiian lava desert to Hāwī and back, and a marathon run along the coast of the Big Island from Kailua-Kona to Keahole Point and back to Kailua-Kona, finishing on Aliʻi Drive.



Dave Scott running in the 1984 IRONMAN®  PHOTO: Mike Plant,

Dave Scott running in the 1984 IRONMAN®  PHOTO: Mike Plant,

Back in the mid-70s, triathlon wasn’t where it is today. There were multi-sport events which are what led Dave Scott to do a few swim/run events in 1975, leading up to his first triathlon. His first contest in the sport simply whetted his appetite. Scott then ventured to a triathlon event in San Francisco. His prize for winning the nine-mile bike, four-mile run and 1,500m swim race (in 53-degree water no less)? A turkey.

That day the IRONMAN® stopped being simply a test of endurance. It became a race … and we can all thank Dave Scott for that change. It also marked the beginning of the "Dave Scott" era in the IRONMAN®, which would encompass much of the 1980s.

With ABC Wide World of Sports broadcasting the event from Kona for the first time, Scott ran his first IRONMAN® in 1980 and finished in 9:24:33 - nearly 2 hours faster than the previous win. Scott returned for the next race and finished second. In 1983, Scott conquered the course and won! This year was Mark Allen's first IRONMAN®. Scott would win 3 of the next 4 IRONMAN® Championships over Allen in what would become a renowned rivalry,

Dave Scott biking in the 1987 IRONMAN®  PHOTO:

Dave Scott biking in the 1987 IRONMAN®  PHOTO:

In 1989, the bout between Scott and Allen reached a peak which has been referred to as the "Ironwar" and "The Greatest Race Ever Run."  Allen ultimately won with Scott placing second and both broke Scott’s course record.

Scott has stated that he is most proud of his performance in 1994. Scott was 40 years old at the time so his race was a revolutionary feat with another second-place finish. Two years later, Scott finished fifth overall. In 2001, the 47-year-old had back problems which forced him out of his last IRONMAN® race.

Since then, Dave has gone on to represent many lines involved in Triathlon as well as coaching, motivational speaking and Training Clinics. He currently is working with the Four Seasons Hualalai luxury resort. Each clinic at this property features five days of coaching focused on all disciplines of triathlon (swim, bike, run, nutrition and strength, and flexibility).

Inducted in 1993, Dave Scott became the first person elected in the IRONMAN® Hall of Fame. He is known as one of the original pioneers of the sport.

Dave Scott's private label 100% Kona Coffee

Dave Scott's private label 100% Kona Coffee

Dave has also partnered with us at Kona Coffee & Tea to create a Private Label 100% Kona Coffee for Dave.  


IRONMAN® note:

U.S. Navy Commander, John Collins also wrote, "Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life.", which is now a registered trademark. 

Kelly Drysdale Kona


I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO: Representing the State of Hawaii at the USTA Nationals

I came to Kona Coffee & Tea having worn a multitude of hats throughout my career. Now I'm the Director of Logistics for Kona Coffee & Tea. 

I spent 15 years in Sports Television, coming into contact with many well-known names but none that left the lasting impression as that of Howard Cosell. Cosell, an attorney turned sports commentator, was also an English major and a grammatical genius. It was from this highly intelligent man that my love of words came to be. 

Now I'm known as the "Wordsmith" for Kona Coffee & Tea, editing whatever comes across my desk as well as the day to day planning of events and representing this Awesome, Family-owned and operated operation.

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