Date set for Ironman UK 

Neil Mercer, first Bolton man to cross the finish line
Neil Mercer, first Bolton man to cross the finish line

The gruelling 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon is coming back to Bolton on July 31, 2011.

The announcement comes on the back of the news that the event injected £3.358 million pounds into the local economy in 2010.

The race, which is supported by Bolton Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and neighbouring councils attracts competitors from all over the world.

This year 1,100 athletes, both professional sportsmen and amateur athletes, and thousands of spectators descended on Bolton.

And the athletes were big spenders, spending £124,000 in the run-up to Ironman, when they came to the local area to familiarise themselves with the course.

A total of £3.1m was also spent on accommodation, food and local amenities by competitors and spectators.

The Ironman company spent £139,000 with north-west based businesses, further helping the economy.

Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council, said: “The benefit to Bolton businesses and indeed to the wider area is welcome news. As well as this, the whole show was broadcast to millions of people across the world, putting Bolton firmly on the map for its ability to deliver huge sporting events.”

Sheldon Phillips, Head of Regional Major Events at the NWDA, added: " I'm pleased to say that the efforts by the NWDA in helping to bring Ironman UK to Bolton has worked out fantastically for both the event organisers and Bolton itself. Not only has Ironman injected a further £3.4m into the local economy this year, it has proved Bolton has the expertise and infrastructure needed to host future similar events."

The 2011 race will follow the same route as this year, with a 2.4-mile swim in Pennington Flash, in Leigh, followed by a 112-mile bike ride in and around Lancashire. The final leg of the course, a 26.2-mile marathon, will take place in the streets of Bolton finishing in the town centre outside the Town Hall.

Alison Boon, Ironman UK Race Organiser, said: “The support from both Bolton, and the surrounding councils, makes the organising of this global event a far easier task! In addition, the support that our event and our competitors receive from the residents of Bolton and the surrounding areas is second to none.

“Every year we receive dozens of e-mails into the race office from competitors who wish to thank the spectator support they received along the course on race day.

“Due to this support the event has gained a reputation for being one of the friendliest events on the global circuit – which is why the 2011 already has more than 1000 competitor entries and will be full to capacity very soon!”

This year’s race was won by Fraser Cartmell, aged 28, from Scotland. He finished the race in eight hours, 40 minutes and 23 seconds, in front of a huge crowd outside Bolton Town Hall.

The fastest woman was 30-year-old Yvette Grice from Eastbourne, with a time of 10 hours, one minute and two seconds.

People can apply online using the link on the right hand side, to enter the 2011 event as a competitor or to register as a volunteer member of the Ironman UK race crew

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Media contact
Salma Nakhuda
01204 331015