Sport

Bolton to host Iron Man UK competition for third consecutive year this weekend

By Steven Oldham

Bolton will host the Ironman UK contest for the third year in a row this weekend as competitors tackle a marathon, 112 mile bike ride and 2.4km swim in a gruelling test of endurance.

The event in Bolton is one of 28 worldwide events this year with the top 50 finishers qualifying for the Ironman World Championship finals in Hawaii next October.

The contest starts bright and early at 6am and entrants have until 11pm to complete the tough course.

This year’s event begins with a bracing early morning swim in Leigh in Pennington Flash over 2.4 miles. Any competitors who do not complete the swim in 2 hours and 20 minutes cannot qualify for the world finals.

This is followed by a 112 mile bike ride from St Helen’s Road to Old Will’s Lane in Rivington.

Those who make it through that then have to contend with a full marathon distance run, which finishes outside Bolton Town Hall.

More than 1,500 athletes across 12 age categories will take on the course with the oldest registered entrant a Mr George Duffy, a Canadian entrant in the 70-74 bracket.

The different age ranges will be set off at different times to avoid congestion, apart from in the opening swim.

Kevin Stewart, managing director of Ironman Britain and Ireland, said: “Without the support of our partners, an event like this would not be possible.

“We would like to thank them for all their help in the organisation of the event and in bringing this major international sporting event to the area.”

 

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