Athletes cycle through the beautiful Lancashire countryside at IRONMAN 70.3 Bolton. (Huw Fairclough for IRONMAN)

After a successful IRONMAN UK triathlon in July, Bolton geared up for the return of IRONKIDS and the only ever edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Bolton. With strong local support and mild weather, the athletes enjoyed a packed weekend of sport. Bolton Council organised lots of additional entertainment and activities to ensure supporters and athletes alike had an action-packed weekend!

At 8am this morning, over 1000 athletes from throughout Europe kicked off the only ever edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 Bolton triathlon. With the water temperature at 17.4°C, the age-group athletes swam the 1.9 km route surrounded by a large crowd of supporters cheering them on. From the start, a fast race was promised with truly incredible performances from the athletes with first athletes finishing the swim in less than 25 minutes. The performance of the first women out of the water was excellent as Molly Savill finished the swim in 26:33. Athletes then started on the one-loop bike course where they completed the 56-mile bike route, through the rolling English countryside. Finally, athletes came into the town centre around Bolton Town Hall where supporters lined up to cheer them on.

“IRONMAN 70.3 Bolton was the last race of the UK season and we couldn’t think of anywhere better to end it. We have a long history of IRONMAN events in Bolton and this year was special. We met Will Cooper who has done every IRONKIDS event since it began and today, took on his first ever 70.3 distance with us! It was magical. This year, the atmosphere was incredible and the whole team worked hard to ensure that we gave athletes an epic race to end the season,” said Rachel Jackson, IRONMAN 70.3 Bolton Race Director.

Talking about growing up in Bolton and how the IRONMAN events impacted him, Will Cooper said; “Seeing athletes compete at the IRONMAN every year definitely inspired me. When you’re an IRONKID and you run down the red carpet, you just want that feeling again. My mum and uncle have done a number of IRONMAN UK events before and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Tri-Rivington club has been instrumental in helping me become a triathlete!”

Scott-Farrington finished the day as the Overall Male Winner with an overall time of 04:18:26. Kelly Warrington, from Bolton, was the Overall Female Winner. She said, “It feels like a throwback to 2019 (where Warrington came second for the overall female category) I’m just so happy. The crowd support is amazing and just keeps you going.” Warrington finished with an impressive time of 04:53:38.