Around 30,000 people are expected to come to the Ironman UK triathlon this Sunday (July 31, 2011).
Bolton is gearing up for a gruelling day of sport, as 1,400 athletes from across the globe, and their friends and families descend on the town.
The race is supported by Bolton Council and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).
Competitors will start with a 2.4-mile swim in Pennington Flash; then cycle 112 miles through Rivington and Chorley; finishing with a marathon to Bolton town centre.
Now in its third year in Bolton, the course has been made more spectator friendly with the majority of the running action taking place on a three mile loop near the town centre.
The previous two events injected a total of £7.2m into the local economy and civic leaders hope this year’s race will also benefit businesses.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “Ironman has provided a real boost for local businesses and this year’s event should again be fantastic news for the region. It also profiles Bolton internationally and demonstrates our ability to host huge sporting spectacles.
“Ironman is a real test of endurance and we hope the people of Bolton will come out once again, and get behind the athletes.”
Sheldon Phillips, Head of Regional Major Events at the NWDA, added: "Ironman is a fantastic event that is certain to attract another great crowd this year. I'm delighted that the NWDA has helped to bring such a high-profile event to Bolton which will provide a helpful boost to the regional economy.
“With the region celebrating one year to go until the London 2012 Games, this is perfect timing to get more and more people involved in all of the sporting and cultural activities that are taking place in the build up to 2012.”
The race starts at 6am, and athletes have 17hrs to finish the course. The fastest are expected to cross the finish line from 2.30pm.
There will be a number of road restrictions in place for the cycle and run elements, involving roads to the west of Bolton and within the town centre.
One of the main roads affected is Chorley New Road. It will be closed from the A58 junction at Beaumont Road to the junction with St George’s Road and Chorley Old Road.
The 575 and 576 bus services will be diverted on to Chorley Old Road due to the closure.
Passengers who usually get on or off these buses on Chorley New Road, can catch a replacement shuttle bus service between 11am and 11.30pm. Information will be displayed at the bus stops.
The shuttle bus will drop passengers off at specified stops on either side of the road so passengers can connect with their usual bus service.
Marshals will be present to allow access for emergency services, residents, businesses and public transport.
Shoppers are advised that Middlebrook Retail Park is open as usual.
Richard Wallace, Race Operations Director of Ironman UK, said: “We appreciate there will be some disruption to local residents, businesses and motorists due to road closures and we have done our best to minimise this.
“We would advise where possible that people make alternative arrangements and avoid the areas where there are restrictions as there is likely to be a delay. We will maintain access for residents and businesses.
“On behalf of the athletes, organisers and charities we would like to thank them for their understanding and patience."
Detailed road closures, swim, bike and run routes and spectator information is available on the right hand side.