KAILUA-KONA, HI (BRAIN)—The Ford Ironman World Championship Demo Days presented by Triathlete magazine kicks off today at noon, running through Friday. Demo Days will be held inside the Ford Ironman Village at Hale Halawai in the heart of downtown Kailua-Kona on Alii Drive.
The Ford Ironman World Championship follows on October 11.
"We are completely sold out [of booth space]," said Sean Watkins, vice president of sales and marketing for Triathlete.
That means attendees will see roughly 50 exhibitors from some of the most recognizable brands in the world including Trek, Scott, Cannondale, Litespeed, Orbea, SRAM and Shimano, just to name a few.
"It's truly a captive audience," Watkins said of the crowds he expects to show up to demo the best in high-end bikes, wheels, pedals, components, helmets and running shoes.
Demo Days was the brainchild of Watkins.
"Tri is hot," Watkins said. "Ironman Arizona (2009) sold out instantly. There's an opportunity to fill a need for the consumer."
Watkins is right. USA Triathlon, the sanctioning organization for more than 2,000 triathlon events in the United States, counted 100,674 athletes as full-year members in 2007. That's about 15,000 more people than in 2006 and represents a leap of nearly 80,000 members since 2000.
Demo Days' main attraction will be high-end product such as Cervelo's much-awaited PR. The bike will be unveiled today at 6 p.m. on the village's main stage.
“I am very much looking forward to this,” White said. “Cervélo first began by making time trial bikes and the first real acceptance and support of our product was from the tri community. We have never forgotten our roots and that memory has a special spot for Gerard (Vroomen) and I, so it should be a great evening.”