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Headed to Kona? Here’s Everything You Need to Know about Our Presence at the Ironman World Championships

Tim ODonnell

With less than a week to go until the Ironman World Championships on Hawaii’s Big Island, the town of Kailua-Kona is seeing a huge boost in population as athletes from around the world flock to triathlon’s main event of the year. SaltStick is also headed west for the championships, and throughout the week, we’ll be sharing photos and updates on our social media channels, which are listed below:

Make sure you follow SaltStick-supported athletes:

You can be sure hundreds of age groupers will be using SaltStick to help stay hydrated during the Ironman World Championships. Additionally, the following professional triathletes will likely be using SaltStick to support their race:

Men

  • Brent Mcmahon (CAN)
  • Timothy O’Donnell (USA)
  • Tyler Butterfield (BER)
  • Bart Aernouts (BEL)
  • Luke Mckenzie (AUS)
  • Pedro Gomes (PRT)
  • Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI)
  • Terenzo Bozzone (NZL)
  • Marko Albert (EST)
  • Ben Hoffman (USA)
  • Andy Potts (USA)
  • Joe Skipper (GBR)
  • Timo Bracht (GER)
  • Special Celebrity Addition: Pro Motorcycle racer Ben Bostrom (USA); Check out his LAVA cover photo here

Women

  • Alicia Kaye (USA)
  • Annabel Luxford (AUS)

If you’re headed to the Big Island, be sure to stock up on SaltStick:

If you’re headed to the island yourself and are in need of SaltStick products, you’ll be able to find them at any of our Big Island retailers:

Our history with the Ironman World Champinships:

SaltStick has been supporting Kona athletes since 2006, and each year, we travel to Kona to support athletes and retailers and to watch the race. Last year top pros, including 3rd-place finisher TIm O’Donnell and 5th-place finisher Tyler Butterfield, sported SaltStick dispensers on their bikes. (For a full list of pros who were likely using SaltStick and their finish times, scroll to the bottom of our 2015 Kona recap blog post.) Of course, there were more than just pros who used SaltStick, and each year, we spot dispensers attached to many bikes at athlete check-in.

Why is SaltStick helpful to Kona athletes? Each Saltstick Capsule contains a balanced supply of electrolytes lost through sweat in a form that the body can easily absorb. In order to help their bodies keep up the sweat rate, the Kona athletes will need to replace the copious amounts of water and electrolytes lost through sweat to prevent bonking, cramping and other heat-induced performance reduction. A balanced supply of absorbable sodiumpotassiumcalcium, and magnesium, such as that provided conveniently in a SaltStick Capsule, is one of these athletes’ top weapons against this loss in performance.

Why are sports drinks not enough? Sweat typically has about 1000 mg sodium/liter; however, a typical sports drink has 440 mg sodium/liter. Increasing sodium beyond this level results in a less pleasant taste, closer to sea water. What does that mean? It means supplementing with a sports drink may only replenish half of the necessary salts.

Low electrolyte levels can hurt performance. If, during the course of the race, the Kona athletes ingested nothing but sports drinks (or worse, water), they would have become hyponatremic, a dangerous condition in which sodium levels are too low. Many sports drinks also do not address any form of supplementation of the other key electrolytes, potentially causing yet further cramping and muscle issues.

Shoutout to Paul Regensburg and Lance Watson! Thank you to you both!

Can’t get enough Kona coverage? Check out what happened in previous years:

For previous blog posts related to SaltStick and the Ironman World Championships, including previous SaltStick-supported athletes and their finishing times, check out the links below:

And for a fun throwback to the 2015 Ironman World Championships, shortly after we introduced SaltStick Fastchews, check out these 10 videos of professional athletes taking our Fastchew Challenge.

We’re looking forward to the action this Saturday!

Be sure to follow our social media accounts (above) for our updates! Good luck to all athletes!