An emotional Joe Skipper crosses the finish line to win the 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN UK
An emotional Joe Skipper crosses the finish line to win the 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN UK. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

The 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN UK season opener saw Joe Skipper (UK) and Katrina Matthews (UK) claim top podium spots, winning the men’s and women’s races respectively.

Bolton welcomed back the big IRONMAN weekend which saw a successful Night Run take place on Friday 2nd July and the hotly anticipated Supersapiens IRONMAN UK take place on Sunday July 4th. 1,284 athletes were delighted to be back to participate in the race under the Safe Return to Racing Guidelines. The excitement was palpable as athletes waited at the swim start where the morning was mild with sunny spells and calm waters at Pennington Flash before mid-afternoon saw heavy rainfall. The water temperature reached 20.4 degrees, and the air temperature was 19 degrees at the start of the race. Athletes felt the true force of nature when heavy rainfall started to occur while on the bike course but the Sheephouse Lane Wrestlers provided a much-needed energy boost at the top of Sheephouse Lane.

When it came to the pro field, it was a true battle of the gladiators as Joe Skipper had to dig deep to power through the run course as he came from behind to overtake Sam Laidlow in the last 10km of the run to claim his win! It was Katrina Matthews first win on home soil which stamped her ticket to Kona to cap off a successful day of racing.

Bolton Council Leader, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “IRONMAN weekend is always a wonderful occasion but this year it has been extra special as we welcome a big event back to Bolton after so long. It has been great to see visitors coming from across the UK to take part in the event, cheer on the athletes and support local businesses. Even a bit of bad weather could not stop us giving a warm welcome and showing that famous Bolton hospitality. We look forward to hosting IRONMAN again in September.”

“Well done to all the athletes that took part today, it felt great to be back out there after a year and half of no racing. A special mention to the Sheephouse Lane Wrestlers, Warrington Tri Club and all of the incredible volunteers who year on year come out in full support of this event, the athletes rave about the warm welcome they receive, and it would not be possible without our volunteers. Together with Bolton Council’s continuous support, we worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that athletes had an unforgettable race experience. We can’t wait to do it all again at IRONKIDS and IRONMAN 70.3 Bolton on September 26th.” said Sam Brawn, Supersapiens IRONMAN UK Race Director.

Top 3 Pro Men’s results

  1. Joe Skipper (UK) 08:42:59
  2. Sam Laidlow (FRANCE) 08:51:41
  3. Leon Chevelier (FRANCE) 09:01:21

Top 3 Pro Women’s results

  1. Katrina Matthews (UK) 09:40:01
  2. Nikki Bartlett (UK) 10:02:43
  3. Chantal Cummings (UK) 10:10:33