Ironman UK to close entries 

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

Ironman UK have announced that they will close race entries on Friday, April 8. 

With entries already surpassing last year’s total, athletes only have a few days left to secure the remaining places in the 2011 event.

Taking place in and around Bolton, Ironman UK promises to test even the toughest of athletes.  The 2.4 miles swim in Pennington Flash is followed by a challenging 112 mile bike course through the Lancashire countryside before the marathon takes them into Bolton town centre.  
Managing Director of Ironman UK, Kevin Stewart, said: “Entries to this year’s event show that Ironman UK in Bolton is coming of age and athletes enjoy the challenges this course provides.  One of the changes we are making for 2011 is to create a lapped run course within Bolton which will provide a better atmosphere for both athletes and the thousands of spectators who will cheer them on.”

Now in its third year in Bolton, Ironman UK attracts a field of international athletes chasing the prize money and ranking points hopefully taking them towards Kona qualification.  

Age group athletes also have an eye on the Ironman World Championship as they look to pick up one of the 50 qualifying slots available at Ironman UK.

Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, Councillor Ismail Ibrahim, added: “I would like to welcome the Ironman back to Bolton and hope that residents will turn out in their masses to create a great atmosphere and support the athletes undertaking this gruelling event across our town.

“The Ironman event is a huge boost to Bolton’s economy, especially through the tourism sector and we are working with the race organisers to make this year’s event the best Bolton Ironman UK to date.”

Many athletes combine the challenge of Ironman with raising money for good causes and the two official charities Rotary and Scope can still provide access to places in return for raising money on their behalf.

Individuals who do not wish to race but still want to be part of the Ironman experience, can volunteer to join the Ironman race crew. 

Volunteers provide a huge amount of support to the race with a range of jobs on offer,  More details can be found on the Ironman website.

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