This weekend over 3,500 IRONMAN athletes and IRONKIDS will converge on Bolton for the iconic IRONMAN UK.
A weekend of world class IRONMAN racing kicks off with IRONKIDS at 8am on Saturday 3 August in Bolton’s Victoria Square. Having doubled in size since it’s successful inauguration last year, the event is now the world’s largest IRONKIDS event, with a sell out 2,000 kids aged 3-14 taking part.
Held in partnership with Bolton Council, IRONKIDS offers different distances according to the child’s age, but the main aim is all about encouraging kids to lead an active, healthy lifestyle, whilst experiencing and being part of the action of a World Class event.
On Sunday 4th August, IRONMAN UK will get underway at 6am at Pennington Flash, Wigan, with over 1800 athletes entered from more than 34 countries around the globe. Attracting some of the world’s leading IRONMAN triathletes, the event also attracts a range of athletes of all ages and abilities each with their own story to tell as to why they’ve entered this ultimate race of endurance.
While the Pro field will be looking for qualifying points towards their Kona Pro rankings as well as battling it out for the $25,000 prize fund, all of the athletes will be completing the same course and hoping to cross the finish line within the 17 hour time limit, and the goal they’ve worked so hard for, to gain the IRONMAN badge of glory.
Consisting of a 2.4 mile swim in Pennington Flash, a 112 mile cycle through the spectacular Lancashire countryside, the event finishes with a 26.2 mile looped marathon course where music and entertainment and some 30,000 supporters are expected to cheer them all the way to the finish line in Bolton town centre.
In the Men’s Pro field, the event sees 5 returning Champions for 2013, but Jersey’s Dan Halksworth is back to defend his title for a much desired double successive victory. Whilst two-time silver placed Stephen Bayliss and relative new comer Harry Wiltshire are sure to be in contention, a tightly contested battle is anticipated between 2010 Champion Fraser Cartmell and Halksworth all the way to the finish line.
With Eimear Mullan not defending her title this year in the Women’s Pro race, Lucy Gossage, who came 3rd at IRONMAN 70.3 Majorca earlier this year is looking like the race favourite, together with IRONMAN veteran Bella Bayliss, who is the only returning Champion in the women’s field. Having a stunning 15 titles under her belt, Bayliss will be using all her experience and hoping lots of encouragement will pull her through to a gold placed victory ahead of Gossage.
In addition to the weekend’s racing, there will be an Ironman Expo at The Reebok Stadium from on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd August, which is free for the public to attend and a great opportunity to view and buy the latest sports equipment.
The weekend’s events are free for spectators to come and watch. With IRONMAN UK action taking place across Lancashire there are a number of opportunities and venue to view the event including Pennington Flash where the swim will start at 6am and Victoria Square in Bolton town centre, where the first athlete is expected to finish around 2:30pm.
For further information on the event and spectator vantage points please visit www.ironmanuk.com.