An army of volunteers is needed to help at the Ironman triathlon being held in Bolton next month.
Organisers are recruiting a band of volunteers to help ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible on Sunday, August 2.
Jobs on offer range from wetsuit stripping and assisting the event commentator, to marshalling the run route and registration.
Race manager Richard Wallace said: “Wetsuit stripping may sound a bit wacky but it involves assisting the athletes unzipping their wetsuits and the fact is we really do need people to do these jobs! We have a range of roles to suit everyone, no matter what age you are. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our events and they ensure that all our competitors are looked after from start to finish.”
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development Councillor John Byrne added: “Volunteering is a great way to get involved in a major international sporting event. There’s a lot of interesting jobs and you also will get the best view of the athletes, as you get right up close to the action.”
There are 1,500 athletes taking part in the event, with around 200 athletes from the North West region taking part.
Ironman organisers are bringing around 80 volunteers with them from their base in Dorset, and an additional 240 local volunteers are on board already but more are needed.
Volunteers don’t need to have had any previous experience. Most of the roles require early starts or late finishes but shifts are flexible.
Head of Regional Major Events at the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) Sheldon Phillips, said: "Bolton Council, Ironman UK and the NWDA have all been working hard to make this a successful first year in Bolton and it is excellent to see how many local athletes and volunteers are behind it. Ironman UK is a gruelling challenge for both the athletes but supportive volunteers – and crowds – make all the difference.
“This is a huge event for Bolton and the Northwest and will generate around £3million for the economy in the first year while putting Bolton on the sporting map."
The Ironman UK Triathlon involves a 2.6-mile swim in Rivington reservoir, a 112-mile bike ride in and around Lancashire, followed by a 26-mile marathon in the streets of Bolton. The race starts at 6am, and the athletes have 17hrs to finish the gruelling course.
Ironman UK is a not for profit company that works closely with local and national charities. More than £250,000 has been donated to various good causes by the Ironman’s official charity partner, the Rotary since 2003. Ironman is working once again with the Rotary this year and also a new national charity partner, Scope.
Bolton Council and the North West Regional Development Agency have worked with Ironman UK to hold the competition in Bolton. The NWDA is also sponsoring Ironman UK.
To volunteer or for more information, click on the link on the right or call 08700 11 28 11.