Ironman UK 2015 preview

Joe Skipper and Lucy Gossage among pro favourites for Bolton this weekend

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It’s nearly here – Ironman UK gets underway this Sunday (19 July), with more than 2,650 athletes expected to arrive in Bolton for the country’s largest Ironman race.

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>>> New champions crowned at Ironman UK 2014

The pro start list includes some big names like Joe Skipper, who recently broke bike records at Ironman Texas, ex-ITU racer David McNamee and Lucy Gossage, winner of last month’s Ironman 70.3 Staffs. Both of the 2014 winners are absent though, with neither Cyril Viennot nor Tamsin Lewis racing this weekend. 

The race begins at 6am at Pennington Flash, Wigan for the 3.8km swim, where the water temperature is expected to be around 20°C. Athletes will then head off through the Lancashire countryside for a 180km two-lap bike course, then finish with a 42.2km run from the Macron Stadium (home of Bolton Wanderers) to Bolton town centre for a raucous finish. The leading pro men are expected to arrive around 2.30pm.

Swimmers at Ironman UK

Pro athletes starters

Men

– Fraser Cartmell (GBR)
– Joe Skipper (GBR)
– Oliver Simon (GBR)
– David McNamee (GBR)
– Simon Brierley (SYC)
– Denis Chevrot (FRA)
– Sam Clark (NZL) 
– Victor Del Corral Morales (ESP)
– David Dellow (AUS)
– Dominic Rohan-Gates (GBR)
– Yu Shinozaki (JPN)
– Brad Williams (USA)

Joe Skipper runs down the finish chute at Ironman UK 2014

Joe Skipper runs down the finish chute at Ironman UK 2014

Women

– Lucy Gossage (GBR)
– Amy Forshaw (GBR)
– Joanna Carritt (GBR)
– Jana Candrova (CZE)
– Eleanor Haresign (GBR)
– Alice Hector (GBR)
– Anne Jensen (DEN)
– Kathryn King (GBR)
– Shiao-Yu Li (TWN)
– Caroline Livesey (GBR)
– Suzie Richards (GBR)
– Keiko Tanaka (JPN)
– Michelle Vesterby (DEN)

Female podium at Ironman UK 2014

Female podium at Ironman UK 2014

To reflect the growth of Ironman UK, the organisers have tripled its prize purse from $25,000 in 2014 to $75,000 this year, and there will also be qualifying points for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii on the line.

Out of the age-groupers racing, an astonishing 51% are Ironman first-timers, with more than 40 countries represented across the field. There will be 40 qualifying spots for Kona 206 up for grabs this year.

The action begins however with the world’s largest IronKids race on Saturday (18th July), with around 2,500 kids aged 3-14 expected to take part in this fun run in Bolton’s town centre. 

For more info on this year’s race head here.

(Images: Getty)

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