The newbie’s guide to Kona-isms

By October 7, 2015Ironman
Alan C. Heison /

The IRONMAN World Championships are for the elite, and sometimes it feels like Kona talk is for the elite too. 

If it’s your first time attending or watching Kona, you might be a little confused my some of the Kona-exclusive lingo. If you say, “Huh?” when you hear “hunu,” then this guide is for you.

Ali’i Drive
The main road through the town of Kailua-Kona, hosting the last .5 miles of the 26.2-mile run course. The finish line is located just steps from where the day begins, at Dig Me Beach, adjacent to the pier. 

Dig Me Beach
The nickname for the tiny parcel of sand at the Kailua-Kona pier in Kailua Bay, where the swim start commences on race morning. All week it serves as a place to “see and be seen,” hence the moniker

King Kam
A nickname for the Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, which serves as the official host hotel of the race and race-week central for registration, press conferences, and race banquets.

Lava Java
Most than just another restaurant, this central eatery on Ali’i Drive, not far from the IRONMAN Village, is a hub for race-week activity. 

Poke (poʊˈkeɪ) is a raw salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. Pokē is the Hawaiian verb for “section” or “to slice or cut.” Ahi poke is made with yellowfin tuna. Limu poke includes a type of seaweed.

Read more of the guide from IRONMAN here.

Be sure to follow Swiftwick athlete and 2012 IRONMAN World Championship Leanda Cave on Facebook and Twitter as she takes on Kona!