Q: So, why does the North West UK town of Bolton get swamped with Triathletes for one weekend each summer?
A: For the 12th year, Bolton hosts the UK Ironman event this weekend.
What is an Ironman event?
Ironman was founded in 1978 when some athletes in Hawaii were discussing who the world’s finest athlete would be. One of the group, John Collins, suggested they settle the debate by combining the three existing long distance competitions already on the island; The Waikiki Rough Water Swim (2.4 miles), the Around Oahu Bike Race (112 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles) into one single event. The Ironman concept was born.
Ironman events take place all around the world; over 60000 participants complete in these events each year. They cover a wide variety of course types, including ocean swims and mountainous rides and in a range of weather conditions.
As the UK’s only full-distance Ironman event, the Bolton race consists of a 2.4 mile swim in Pennington Flash, 112 mile bike leg covering 3 hilly and very challenging laps around Bolton, finally the 26.2 mile run covering 4 loops in Bolton centre. With Bolton being relatively near an international airport (Manchester) and with the waters of Pennington flash, challenging roads for the bike leg and sport minded locals, Bolton has a lot to offer Ironman competitors.
The Big Ironman weekend starts with a Night Run event on Friday, followed by IRONKIDS event on Saturday. The main Ironman event takes place on Sunday. See full details on the Ironman UK website here.