Ironman back in Bolton again
9:05am Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
IRONMAN will be back in Bolton again next year.
The news that the popular event will once again put Bolton firmly on the map was met with a chorus of approval in the town.
Bolton Council bosses had vowed to “do whatever we can” to enable the competition to come back in 2013 and have been successful in securing its return.
Former Marine Paul Hawkins, from Walkden , was the highest ever local finisher in the Ironman, crossing the line in third place and he welcomed the announcement.
The 31-year-old father of three said: “I am absolutely delighted. It’s great for the North West and it’s great for Bolton.”
It also means the IronKids event — which was held for the first time in the UK — will be taking place in the town again.
This year’s event for children attracted more than 1,000 youngsters. Organisers World Endurance UK said they were “delighted to confirm that Ironman UK 2013 will return to Bolton for the fifth year running, on Sunday August 4, 2013”, and opened entries to the public today.
More than 2,000 athletes are already pre-registered for next year’s event and indications are that it will be a sell-out in record time, with a maximum of only 1,600 places available.
Kevin Stewart, managing director of Ironman UK and Ireland, said: “Ironman UK 2012 saw the largest number of entries in Bolton to date and the tens of thousands of spectators who lined the course helped create an incredible atmosphere.
“We are very excited about the event returning to Bolton as we feel that the course offers a real test for the athletes.”
Cllr Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council , said: “It’s fantastic news. Each year Ironman gets better.
“We’re very pleased that Ironman and IronKids will both be returning, providing a welcome boost for local businesses.”
Competitors take part in a gruelling test of strength and endurance by completing a 2.4 swim in Pennington Flash, Leigh, and a 112 mile cycle ride through the picturesque local scenery of Rivington, Chorley and Adlington .
Then they finished with a 26.2 mile marathon in and around Bolton town centre as thousands of spectators cheer them all the way to the finish line in Victoria Square.