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70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update
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Ironman 70.3 Hawaii is less than 3 weeks away. For those that will be here racing, I thought it might be time to post a bit of an update on West Hawaii's air quality. As I'm sure everyone knows, there's been a fresh lava breakout along Kilauea's east rift zone inside a housing subdivision in east Hawaii island. While the videos of the fissures are dramatic, the actual area affected is fairly small acreage wise. For those that have homes in that part of the Puna district (Leilani Estates and Lanipuna) the release of hazardous levels of gas are of serious concern -- for the rest of the island, not so much. If you're particularly sensitive to air quality you might notice a slight difference in comparison to previous year's races but nothing significant.

The past two weeks saw an early jump in VOG (Volcanic Fog, the smog like gunk you often see here) levels along the Kona and Kohala coast with a day or two where you couldn't see the coastline from 2 miles away. Since then, however, things have improved dramatically and are approaching "normal" VOG levels. The trade-winds are doing a wonderful job of blowing the VOG away. On most days the VOG lightens dramatically north of Waikoloa Village anyway. Since Honu starts at Hapuna Beach, well north of there, rides up to the outskirts of Hawi town and has the run at the Mauna Lani resort area, you should be well clear of most of it come race day.


Absent a sudden increase in volcanic output I'd anticipate that conditions will be normal or quite close to normal come race day (hot, humid, windy).

There's also an air quality index website you can use to track our current conditions:

https://www.airnow.gov/...state&stateid=12

Aloha.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
Last edited by: KonaCoffee: May 15, 18 9:38
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks much!
Will you be at the race?
I haven’t raced there since ‘82. So it should be fun (if you like it hot and humid 🙁).
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Great to hear. We will be returning for the 10th year and were a little concerned about the activity, but not much, since we know the media blow it out of proportion. Thanks for your update; I now feel confident it will be awesome as always.
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [Karl] [ In reply to ]
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Karl wrote:
Thanks much!
Will you be at the race?
I haven’t raced there since ‘82. So it should be fun (if you like it hot and humid 🙁).

I tore my meniscus training for the 2016 New York City Marathon. Turns out the tear was due to osteoarthritis degeneration in the left knee, so I'm a bit limited in just what I can do. We're also building a house in upcountry Hawaii so that takes a bit of time as well. Hopefully, I'll be able to return to triathlons and running once the move is made and I can work on things to get back in shape. The move occurs sometime after the 40th IMWC in October. But I will be at Honu as a volunteer this year though. I'll be on parts of the run course delivering stuff to the volunteers. I'll be the guy ina beat up pickup blaring music for the runners and weraing a knee brace. ;)

I always found Honu's advert, "Race on the Ironman World Championship bike course" amusing. It's the worst part of the course. I always had fun with it though. 6 or 7 of the things done. Too lazy to go count the finishers medals. My best performance was in 2012 when Lance was racing. That was the gale force winds race. My times were such that any other year I'd have easily been in the top 10 in age group. That year, I didn't break the top 20 .. but I had fun!


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for posting the Vog report, please keep us informed.
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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I’ll yell out if I am coherent enough.
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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KonaCoffee wrote:

I always found Honu's advert, "Race on the Ironman World Championship bike course" amusing. It's the worst part of the course. I always had fun with it though. 6 or 7 of the things done. Too lazy to go count the finishers medals. My best performance was in 2012 when Lance was racing. That was the gale force winds race. My times were such that any other year I'd have easily been in the top 10 in age group. That year, I didn't break the top 20 .. but I had fun!

I think I've done it 9 times. I was also at that 2012 race, but I had also done the infamous 2012 StG full, so the wind seemed tame by comparison - it was also somewhat cool on the run. Generally I refer to Honu as "a nice time in Hawaii ruined," yet I keep coming back. I like that the course is hard, though I don't like that run too much in the moment.

Mahalo for the vog, etc. updates; I'm not on island right now, but reports from my house (Anekona Estates, off of the Kawaihae Rd) are that the air quality is very good thanks to the trades.

Any further identifying traits so we can give you a shout out on the course?

Ian
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Is there anything that we can do to help those affected by the eruption? Do you know of a good charity? I hope IM does something through their charity to help this year
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [karmatraining] [ In reply to ]
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The IRONMAN Foundation has launched a specific campaign to raise funds and send refielf to those on the Big Island who have been impacted by the recent volcanic activity. More here - http://ironmanfoundation.org/hawaiirelief/


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
The IRONMAN Foundation has launched a specific campaign to raise funds and send refielf to those on the Big Island who have been impacted by the recent volcanic activity. More here - http://ironmanfoundation.org/hawaiirelief/

The Ironman Foundation has done some really good things on Hawaii Island over the years. They'd be one of my choices for a contribution if you're so inclined. Another might be the Hawaii Island Food Basket, https://www.hawaiifoodbasket.org/

I'll have an update on yesterday's dramatic events as soon as Hawaii County Civil Defense issues their morning briefing.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [sneeuwaap] [ In reply to ]
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sneeuwaap wrote:
KonaCoffee wrote:
Any further identifying traits so we can give you a shout out on the course?

Ian

Knee brace on the left knee. Red 2006 Toyota Tacoma Pickup that is sun damaged. I'll be wearing a FORD Ironman World Championship Cap. If you're at the front 20% of the age group pack you'll see me driving in Hell's Kitchen, Otherwise look for me as you exit the golf course down near the Mauna Lani (on the map there are actually two aid stations right next to each other ... you'll probably see me at the second one).


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Yesterday saw an ash cloud rise to 12,000 ft above Kilauea's summit Caldera. Briefly, rock and debris fell into Halemaumau's lava supply (Halemaumau is the summit crater within Kilauea's Summit Caldera, it's also the traditional home of Madame Pele), that resulted in the large ash cloud seen in this picture from Hawaii News Now. There is an ash warning out for the Puna and Kau districts of the island. Kau is southwest of Kilauea along the island's east coast down to southpoint . Puna covers Volcano Village etc north towards Hilo.

This ash "event" is also not the steam explosion which has kept Volcanoes National Park closed this week. A steam explosion results when the lava within Halemaumau falls to ground water levels (already happened) and rock or debris fall into the opening and clog it. That results in a pressure build up and a very dangerous explosion.

The air conditions are considered RED in the affected areas only. There is about a 1/4-inch accumulation of ash on the ground in Pahala and related areas this morning. The Air quality is poor but the actual ash is not toxic in the sense that S02 is. It is an irritant.

While there are wind scenarios that could roll the vog into the 70.3 course via the saddle or up from Kona, that's not the most likely scenario. This morning's sunrise in Kona was clear and reasonably close to normal vog levels. Many of us, myself included, are coughing and sneezing more than normal but it's not my lungs preventing me from running atm.

A brief (22 seconds long) video of the wind patterns of late. Note that Honu is on the northwest part of the island.

https://www.youtube.com/...amp;feature=youtu.be

Aloha.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
Last edited by: KonaCoffee: May 16, 18 8:51
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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The safe areas within the state:




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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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I'll have an update on yesterday's dramatic events as soon as Hawaii County Civil Defense issues their morning briefing.


Yikes. Looks like things got a bit more "serious" late yesterday and over night.

Hopefully we'll get the real story on the ground from KonaCoffee shortly ounce he's up and at it.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
I'll have an update on yesterday's dramatic events as soon as Hawaii County Civil Defense issues their morning briefing.


Yikes. Looks like things got a bit more "serious" late yesterday and over night.

Hopefully we'll get the real story on the ground from KonaCoffee shortly ounce he's up and at it.

They're rather late this morning Steve. It's usually out at 6 am HST. The ash is all down on the ground now, air conditions aren't good but I have friends north east of Volcano Village that were able to actually run over there this morning so it's not all that bad apparently.

West side is clear and muggy today.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Did you intentionally or unintentionally not circle that one portion of the Big Island?
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [DFW_Tri] [ In reply to ]
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DFW_Tri wrote:
Did you intentionally or unintentionally not circle that one portion of the Big Island?

I "borrowed" that picture. The portion that's not circled is where all the activity is. And not in that entire area either. ;)


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Yesterday (5/16/2018) the air quality in Kona was worse than normal for most of the day. Up north beyond the Waikoloa Resorts it was quite a bit better but also worse than usual. I think we'll be in for a ride air quality wise until the volcanic eruption settles down into a predictable pattern. I don't think you'll find the VOG affecting performance too much even at the somewhat increased levels we had yesterday. My personal feeling is that what was out there yesterday is as bad as it's likely to go get. So I think Honu should not be terribly affected by the air quality absent a marked uptick in activity.

If there's anything "exciting" that happens, I'll keep you all posted.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
Last edited by: KonaCoffee: May 17, 18 8:23
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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OK Guys, the first serious update of this thread. Just got this from Hawaii County Civil defense and it is all I know at this time:

>Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that an Explosive Eruption at Kilauea's Summit has occurred. The resulting ash plume will cover the surrounding area. Shelter in place if you are in the path of the ash plume.<

An explosive eruption can mean a steam explosion (unlike the ash cloud of 2 days ago) where a clogged vent is blasted into the air by trapped steam. It can also mean something more.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Friday's update:

Yesterday's ash explosion sent ash to 30,000 feet. Since the jet stream is well north of here atm (settling into the summer pattern jet stream wise) the ash is returning to earth pretty much in the Puna and Ka'u districts.

Vog is higher than normal on the west side. By afternoon it's hard to see Haulalai from the pier. Up north it was much better, though somewhat worse than normal. I suspect this what you will see come race day; lower than normal air quality but not enough to have significant adverse athletic impacts. Hawaii is still open for business, in fact race week might be nice as tourism numbers are way down!

A couple of websites to help Honu athletes track the air quality:

https://vog.ivhhn.org/

https://vog.ivhhn.org/vog-and-wind-forecasts

I'll update this thread should there be anything significant to report.

Aloha


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
Last edited by: KonaCoffee: May 19, 18 9:51
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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KonaCoffee - Thanks for the real on-the-ground reports of what things are like in Kona.

We know several people who are going to Kona for the Honu 70.3 race and all they are seeing of course are the images on the news, which are pretty dramatic - and they have been reaching out to us. So it's helpful to know that, on the other side of the island (Kona), it more or less business as usual.

That beings said, we are thinking of the several hundred or more who have been directly impacted by this recent volcanic activity


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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I'll see if I can get up to the bike course area and take a few photos this upcoming week. It's voggy but not all that bad.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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A quick update on air quality for the Kona and Kohala Coasts with Honu about 10 days off or so.

While the air is voggy with no clear horizon in Kona along with lowered visibility, the air quality is still "Good" in Kona and better up north where the race is held. The primary pollutant is SO2 (sulphur dioxide). Air quality down in the Ka'u district (Southpoint area and just north of there. Where the volcano isn't btw) is listed as moderate at the primary tracking site for that district.

While there are some interesting videos being shown on various news channels showing the fountains and "laze" (lava and haze), keep in mind those are over 100 miles from the race site. The race site is also upwind from the the Puna district (where the volcano is) with our normal trade winds.

Enjoy your race.

Aloha.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
Last edited by: KonaCoffee: May 22, 18 16:36
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [KonaCoffee] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the updates. Looking forward to returning to the island (favorite place on earth) for a quick dive and a good race. Oh and my 1 year wedding anniversary (got married on the island last year before the race). I read about the cruise ships and tourists avoiding Kona and that sucks. I know that it is not much but the wife and I are looking forward to supporting the island, even if it is just a little bit.
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Re: 70.3 Hawaii ("Honu") VOG Update [gshtrisport] [ In reply to ]
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gshtrisport wrote:
Thanks for the updates. Looking forward to returning to the island (favorite place on earth) for a quick dive and a good race. Oh and my 1 year wedding anniversary (got married on the island last year before the race). I read about the cruise ships and tourists avoiding Kona and that sucks. I know that it is not much but the wife and I are looking forward to supporting the island, even if it is just a little bit.

NCL has cancelled their Hilo and Kona stops the past 2 weeks. Other cruise lines have not. The Kohala coast was quite nice yesterday with not much more than "normal" VOG levels. Vog in Kona was worse than normal but not to an extreme. Business is down for a variety of reasons most related to the eruption and a bit of fear. There may be some good bargains or better availability for many of the attractions people might want to go on (Fairwinds to Kealakekua Bay, Body Glove, Manta night dives etc). And some of the tour companies (Kona Adventure Tours, Hawaii Forest and Trail etc.) may have more openings than normal.

All in all I personally expect the race to be close to normal if not normal. Hot and Humid on the run and wind on the bike. Oh and Vog. There will be vog until Kilauea goes silent regardless of this eruption event, that's normal too.


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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
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