Credit: Huw Fairclough for IRONMAN

IRONMAN UK is gearing up for its biggest ever, three-day race weekend in Bolton, which will start on Friday, July 12th. The 5KM Night Run will kick off the 11th edition of IRONMAN UK, in Bolton, followed by the always popular IRONKIDS race, on the Saturday. For the first time, IRONMAN UK will feature a Military Division, where these athletes will race alongside age groupers and take on an exciting new bike course.

Over 2,000 individual athletes will race IRONMAN UK, this Sunday, and will be representing 34 countries from around the world. With thousands of spectators and visitors coming to Bolton, there will be an amazing festive atmosphere, full of energy and support for all the athletes.

The weekend starts on Friday at 7pm, with Bolton’s first Night Run, where over 700 runners will line up to take on this 5KM race. The course will head through the town centre and then into Queen’s Park, before returning to finish in Victoria Square, on the same finish line as the IRONMAN UK Athletes. Runners, their family and friends, as well as Bolton residents can then look forward to a fun evening, with musical entertainment and a festival finish, including food and drink vendors at the finish line on Oxford Street.

For anyone in and around Bolton who would like to take part in the IRONMAN UK weekend, participants can still enter, on-site, for the Night Run on Wednesday, the 10th (from 5pm till 7pm), Thursday, the 11th (from 3pm till 7pm), and on Friday, the 12th (from 9am till 6pm).

The world’s largest IRONKIDS race will take place on the Saturday starting at 9am, where around 3,000 children will line up to take on this run-only event. These young athletes will race through Bolton Town Centre and get to experience what it is like to cross the iconic IRONMAN finish line. IRONMAN UK’s Race Director, Sam Brawn, has stated that “there is a little something for everyone, and we can’t wait to experience the festive atmosphere in Bolton’s Town Centre throughout the weekend”.

IRONMAN UK is very excited, that for the first time, this race has been selected as an IRONMAN Military Division Qualifier for the 2019 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. At 6am on Sunday, July 14th, the Military Division will start the swim, in the water, and race for 10 qualification slots- exclusively for athletes who are in active military duty. Graham Gore, who is currently a SSgt (Artificer) in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), said he “decided to sign up for IRONMAN UK as it is renowned for being one of the more testing events on the IRONMAN calendar”.

Gore’s has served in the Military for a little over 11 years and says that during his IRONMAN training journey he has connected with other racers to “provide each other with vital support and advice on training, nutrition and race day strategy”. Gore exclaimed that he “has never raced in an IRONMAN before, but I am pretty confident that what will keep me motivated during the race is thousands of supporters that will be out on course, I’m pretty sure they will give me an extra 10% on the day”.

With the introduction of a new bike course, Gore and his fellow triathletes will have to dig deep to conquer the race. The iconic spectator support will help to motivate athletes as they embark on the 2.4-mile swim at Pennington Flash, complete two laps of a new 112-mile bike course and finish on the 26.2-mile run course, which will loop all around the Bolton town centre.

From a spectator perspective, the 11th edition of IRONMAN UK in Bolton, will offer an exciting experience given the depth of military division and age-groupers racing. Spectators can look forward to watching the race from locations such as Le Mans Crescent (Bolton Town centre), Ramsbottom, or Rivington – which is the home to the infamous Sheephouse Lane Wrestlers. There are also numerous pubs along the course where spectators can enjoy the race atmosphere.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, added: “IRONMAN is a huge event for Bolton, and we are looking forward to welcoming athletes, their families and friends from all over the world. Good luck to everyone competing – I am looking forward to cheering everybody on.”

Additionally, a new addition to the IRONMAN UK weekend is The Festival Zone, on Oxford Street. This will feature live music, food and drinks and is open to everyone on Friday from 6pm till 11pm, Saturday from 9am till 5pm and Sunday from 10am till 9pm. There will also be free sporting activities for the entire family, on Deansgate, in Bolton, starting this Saturday from 8:30am till 5:30pm and on Sunday from 10am till 7pm.

With nearly a total of 6,000 participants getting ready to take part in the IRONMAN Weekend, this will be an action-packed weekend. There will be 700 Night Run participants for the Friday night 5KM event, around 3,000 IRONKIDS set to run Bolton Town Centre on the Saturday and over 2,000 individual athletes ready to race the IRONMAN UK on Sunday, 14 July 2019.

For more information please visit the event website