In the return to Hawai`i Island for the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN® World Championship race after a three-year hiatus, IRONMAN announced the Live Aloha initiative to build upon and emphasize the Hawai`i Tourism Authority’s push for responsible tourism. For the first time in the event’s history, the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship race will take place over two days, on October 6 and 8, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Live Aloha aims to help all remember the importance of the community, culture, and land that have made this event so special for more than 40 years.
Through Live Aloha and in the spirit of this year’s event theme of Kū Like (stand together), IRONMAN is encouraging all those attending, visiting, and participating in the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship event to act mindfully and take part in learning about and respecting Hawaiian culture, lands, and people throughout their visit to the Island.
Live Aloha also encourages all people to be pono (righteous) on Hawai`i Island by taking the Pono Pledge. As described by Larry Lindsey Kauanoe Kimura, Grandfather of Hawaiian Language Revitalization, “Pono extends beyond its many English translations. To live pono is to be in perfect harmony with all things and to be aligned with your custodial relationship with the planet and its inhabitants.”
Nearly 20,000 people to date have signed the Pono Pledge, which vows to a mindful visitation, community enrichment, and more. To make the Pono Pledge, visit www.ponopledge.com/take-the-island-of-hawaii-pono-pledge/.
“Live Aloha calls on not only our athletes but our entire IRONMAN `Ohana to return to Hawai`i Island in a way that celebrates our shared history, taking collective ownership and responsibility for honoring and respecting the Hawaiian culture, lands, and people that make this amazing event possible,” said Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President of World Championship Events for The IRONMAN Group.
“We know there is great anticipation after three years without a World Championship Event on Hawai`i Island and excitement can sometimes be blinding to other important areas. We have been mindful about the return of the event, understanding that to Live Aloha we must Kū Like as it is the communal responsibility of our athletes, team members, partners, supporters, volunteers, media members, and visitors to play an active role in taking care of this place that so many love and call home, including a core group of our IRONMAN World Championship Team.”
Created in accordance with Hawai`i Tourism Authority’s Destination Management Action Plan for responsible tourism, Live Aloha is IRONMAN’s permanent reminder that the IRONMAN World Championship and the land, culture, and host communities of Hawaiʻi are intertwined in creating the rich history of one of the most iconic and important sporting events in the world. As such, all those coming to the Island are responsible for adding to that history in a positive way by treating the land and community as if it were their own home.
“On behalf of the County of Hawaiʻi, we extend our warmest welcome to the IRONMAN athletes and their ʻohana as we invite them back to our shores for the famous VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona,” said Hawai`i County Mayor, Mitch Roth.
“Over the past few years, our community has come together to enhance our recognition of our collective responsibility to each other and our ‘āina — which we believe will provide you all with an enriched experience of our island that is rooted in our local values and shared through our abundance of aloha. With that aloha, we look forward to your return, as we once again stand shoulder-to-shoulder to cheer on the best athletes in the world from the best place in the world.”
“Live Aloha seems like such a natural fitting motto for the race and the days around it,” said three-time IRONMAN World Champion, Jan Frodeno.
“Being well aware of nature, conditions, and the surroundings has always been a part of my personal journey on the island. When you display care for the land, the people and the culture, you get so much back in return. The last years have shown that we can’t take this most amazing race and its shared history with Hawai`i for granted so make sure you create memories to look back fondly upon. Even though I’ll be cheering from the sidelines this year, I’m looking forward to coming back to see friends and my sporting family as well as appreciating this most special battleground of our sport. My number one tip would be to keep cool before the race both physically and mentally. Everyone is there for a positive world championship experience and come race day, you’ll need all the fire and support you can find.”
Participatory projects and educational sessions will also be available to engage with and learn more about the local community and culture. Expanding on the annual tradition of hosting service projects throughout race week, IRONMAN will work with Island Breeze, Queen Lili`uokalani Trust, and other local organizations to host a cultural educational program. This will include FREE cultural tours and activities as well as environmental education on things we can do to protect the local land and waters, such as wearing mineral sunscreen. IRONMAN will also be hosting service projects in which everyone – athletes, team members, supporters, volunteers, and media – are invited to give back with the rest of their IRONMAN `Ohana. For more information on participating in the cultural activities, tours, and service projects, please visit www.ironman.com/kona-community-live-aloha.
“We know how important this race is to athletes and their supporters and that, from the minute they step on the Island, their focus is set on race day,” said Bertsch. “Live Aloha is our way of educating and encouraging athletes and visitors to be mindful of the simple yet extremely important things they can do to respect the Island and people that make this incredible event possible. Everyone can Live Aloha by obeying road rules when cycling, wearing mineral sunscreen, and avoiding stepping through gardens and nature, just to name a few. Responsible tourism starts and extends long before and after race day and if we all do our part, can make for a truly life-changing experience for all.”
Tips to Live Aloha while visiting Hawai`i
- Aloha spirit: Embrace the lessons of peace, kindness, compassion, and responsibility that come with being in the presence of and sharing the essence of life.
- Take time to greet locals who are sharing their home with us.
- Be mindful and courteous on the road during practice runs and rides.
- Obey all traffic and cycling laws.
- Love of the land: Mālama (care for) land and sea.
- Use mineral-based sunscreen only.
- Leave a place better than you found it.
- Observe, learn, and understand: This island is one of rich history. Take pause to learn of the peoples who have inhabited Hawai`i for centuries.
- Tour Hawai`i Island’s historical sites.
- Learn about the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai`i Authority (NELHA) and make note of the numerous sites along the race course.
- Admire the work of local artists and artisans at galleries like Donkey Mill Art Center.
- Book yourself seats at a lū`au for an immersive experience of local cuisine and Polynesian performances.
- Support the local business community and take a moment to soak in each place you visit.
- Honor the culture: Immerse yourself in local and Native Hawaiian customs that make up the island’s unique culture.
- Take a deep breath and relax. The pace of life is slower on the Island; don’t waste time trying to force things.
- Aloha is a lifestyle, a reciprocal value centered on kindness and respect. You give it without expectation of something in return.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from locals and Native Hawaiians.
- Admire and respect the beauty: Mindfully seek wonder, but not wander where one does not belong.
- While the Island of Hawai`i is filled with opportunities for adventure, be aware of and comply with all county ordinances and state laws.
- The landscape of Hawai`i is remarkable. Do not remove any plants, sand, or rocks from their original habitat.
- Do not approach or touch wildlife.
For more information about Live Aloha, cultural activities and the Pono Pledge, please visit www.ironman.com/kona-community. For more information about the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship event, please visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.