IRONMAN and Bolton Council have this week announced changes to the IRONMAN UK event ahead of the 10th edition in Bolton next year, on 15 July 2018. The most notable updates see the movement of the event hub and second transition from the Macron Stadium on the outskirts of the town to Bolton town centre.
While the 2.4 mile swim remains at Pennington Flash, competitors will now follow a slightly altered bike course to the second transition at Queens Park, before heading out onto the run course and finishing in Bolton town centre.
The event expo, registration, athlete village and finish line will be located in the town centre – a precise location will be confirmed in the coming months.
The 112 mile bike course remains largely similar to the previous edition of the race and continues to feature iconic sections of the course including the climbs on Sheephouse Lane and Hunter’s Hill as well as Babylon Lane, which has become well-known for its Tour de France-style support.
Towards the end of the bike course, athletes will cycle along Chorley New Road, turn right on to Park Road, then Mayor Street and on to Queens Park, on Spa Road, in Bolton town centre. The 26.2 mile run, now set to start at Queens Park, will consist of four laps taking athletes around Bolton town centre before ascending through Queen’s Park to Chorley New Road.
The course will then pass numerous spectator hotspots along the out and back leg of Chorley New Road, where both cyclists and runners will be on the course. Athletes will then descend through Queen’s Park and return to Bolton town centre, finishing at Victoria Square with Bolton’s historic town hall providing the backdrop.
“Having developed IRONMAN UK in Bolton into one of the most popular events in the UK, we looked at the event setup and how we could improve the athlete experience,” said Sam Brawn, IRONMAN UK Race Director.
“Moving the second transition area and athlete village near Bolton town centre was a logical decision with athlete logistics in mind, but required intensive planning with Bolton Council to enable the change.
“This allows athletes and their supporters to plan their movements around two major venues, Pennington Flash and Bolton town centre, instead of three as in previous editions of the event. We are confident these changes will provide an improved experience for our athletes and their supporters, from registration, right through to collecting their bikes after the race,” added Brawn.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said “IRONMAN UK has been a tremendous success during its time being held in and around Bolton. Thousands come from all over the world to cheer on the competitors in this most gruelling of challenges.
“We believe that these changes to next year’s event will be great for the town centre. It will also make it even more accessible for the public to support the athletes as they move from their bicycles into the marathon run. Queens Park is a beautiful area right in the centre of our town and it is the perfect setting for this stage of the event.
“Next year will be the tenth IRONMAN in Bolton and we are constantly working with the organisers to make it as good an experience as possible.”
IRONMAN UK is an established, iconic British event and moved to Bolton from Sherborne in 2009. It is in Bolton where it has gained a reputation across Europe as one of the best supported and most challenging races.
IRONMAN and Bolton Council announced in July that the event will remain in Bolton until 2022 after putting pen to paper on a new five-year deal following the 2017 edition of the race.
The event continues to be a popular choice for athletes – with entries for the 2018 edition already over 80% full. The 10th edition in Bolton is expected to attract over 2500 athletes from over 40 countries. The organisers added that this provides an ‘exciting challenge to competitors, bringing a festival atmosphere to the town of Bolton where spectators are able to see some of the UK and world’s best athletes take on the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run.’
As part of the IRONMAN weekend, the world’s biggest IRONKIDS event, IRONKIDS UK takes place in Bolton, on 14 July 2018, the day before the main event.