|Bolton heats up for IRONMAN UK
Over 1,650 athletes from around the globe will be taking the plunge in the waters of Pennington Flash on Sunday 4th August, for the start of the 5th annual IRONMAN UK.
Whilst the cold waters of open water swimming in the UK generally causes a certain amount of anxiety for triathletes, the recent heat wave will gives them the prospect of a Mediterranean style start to the day’s racing.
In the space of only a few weeks, IRONMAN organisers have gone from concerns over whether the water will be warm enough for the athletes to do a full swim at IRONMAN 70.3 UK, to now seeing a complete contrast with temperatures steadily rise as a result of the warm weather the UK has been enjoying.
As IRONMAN racing got underway in Europe only a few weeks ago, IRONMAN 70.3 Switzerland was forced to cancel the swim element whilst IRONMAN 70.3 UK also saw unseasonably cold and wet conditions for the hardy athletes who nevertheless heartily embraced whatever the weather threw at them.
Kevin Stewart, Managing Director of IRONMAN UK commented, “We are very much looking forward to welcoming all the athletes to this year’s Ironman UK. We are always looking to improve on the success of the event but our overriding aim is to make sure the athletes experience is an enjoyable and memorable one whatever the weather - their safety is our ultimate concern.”
Early bird spectators are invited to come along and watch the action, which kicks off 6am at Pennington Flash country Park, Wigan, with the first Pro athlete expected to finish the swim in just over 40 minutes.
The athletes will then embark on a 112 mile bike that sets off from Leigh to take in the stunning Lancashire countryside, before heading off on a 26.2 mile run course that loops through Bolton before finishing in Bolton town centre. Some 30,000 specators are expected to line the streets cheering them all the way to the finish line. Adding to the atmosphere and support will be a number of entertainment points with music, dance and activities throughout the run course to spur the athletes along.
Whilst the Pro athletes will complete the race from 2.30pm, within a remarkable 8.5 hours for the men and 9 hrs for the women, many of the 1650 competitors, from the age of 19 to 70 are simply looking to cross the finish line within the 17 hour time limit to gain the Ironman badge of glory as well as a tremendous sense of achievement.
Stewart added, “This is an exciting world class event that draws competitors from more than 30 countries across the globe. The weekend’s events are free to watch and we very much hope spectators will come and support these amazing athletes in action throughout their race.”
For further information and specator vantage points and available parking, please visit www.ironmanuk.com/ironman-uk