This year's Ironman UK triathlon provided a big boost to the local economy.
Ironman UK is one of the region’s largest sporting events and alongside the sporting spectacle, the race provides a significant tourism and economic boost to the area.
The event held on July 31, saw £2,572,463 injected into the local economy by the athletes, spectators and race organisers.
This combined with international media coverage provided Bolton and England’s north west with an incredible return from an incredible race.
Managing Director of Ironman Britain and Ireland, Kevin Stewart, said: “The success of Ironman UK is measured not only in the achievement of athletes on race day but also the benefits for the local economy and once again 2011 has been a very successful year.”
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, added: “Ironman continues to provide a welcome boost to the local economy and showcase Bolton to an international audience. The event had fantastic support from residents and volunteers. We’re delighted that the organisers are coming back next year and Bolton is hosting the race again.”
In addition to the economic spend, the race also has a large media profile both locally and internationally.
This saw the Ironman UK production receive national coverage on Channel 4 Television, with the show repeated on Canal+ in France, and Setanta in Ireland; Canada; Asia; Africa, and Australia. The show will also be featured heavily in Eurosport throughout Europe over the coming months.
Media coverage this year was focussed on the achievement of Team True Spirit who raced for the Help For Heroes Charity and for those who saw it, no one will forget some of the amazing stories that took place on the day.
- £240,000 spend prior to race week, a significant increase on previous years.
- 74 per cent of athletes visited the course for racing and training prior to race day.
- £1.25m spend by athletes during race week on food and accommodation.
- Average of two spectators per athletes, average spectator stay three days.
- £900,000 spend by spectator on food and accommodation.
- 72 per cent of athletes stayed in hotels.
- £180,000 directly spent by race organisers with north west based business.
- Of the athletes surveyed 83 per cent said they would not have considered visiting Bolton prior to the race being announced there. Post-race, 79 per cent said they would consider returning to Bolton for a holiday or visit.
- 25 per cent of those athletes surveyed raised money for charity. This ranged from the official Ironman UK charities, Scope and the Rotary and the athletes' own charities.
- The average money raised of those surveyed was £1519.23. The athletes surveyed raised a combined £79,000.
Entries are open for next year’s event on July 22 and half of the 1500 slots have already been filled. Organisers are recommending that anyone who wants to undertake the challenge of Ironman UK gets in early to avoid disappointment.
As in previous years, road closures will be in place for the event. For more information, how to get involved and how to enter, visit the Ironman website or ring 01865 596266.