Published: Thursday, 13th Feb 2020

Ironman UK has announced a new bike course for the iconic Bolton-based race on July 12.

Brian Fogarty winner 2019The revised route will offer competitors an exciting new challenge and give spectators more opportunities to cheer on athletes.

The gruelling Ironman UK triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim in Pennington Flash, a 112-mile bike ride in and around Bolton, finishing with a marathon into Bolton town centre.

Bike course details

This year’s bike course will once again take athletes from Pennington Flash, in Leigh, into Bolton town centre. 

The course will change at this point from a two-lap course to a three-lap course through the surrounding countryside.

Athletes will still head along Chorley New Road, passing transition located in Queen’s Park and along the cobbles of Le Mans Crescent, before heading to Bury. 

Competitors will cycle through Hawkshaw in the opposite direction to last year.

The new course will not be using Ramsbottom; Pickup Bank; Eccleshill; Helmshore; Hoddlesden or Blacksnape Road towards Edgworth. 

The new route will go into Edgworth from Hawkshaw, and then to Chapeltown, past Turton and Entwistle Reservoir with a short stint on the A666. 

This will then lead into the descent through Egerton - a new addition to the route. 

One of the most memorable part of last year’s bike course remains - athletes will climb past Black Dog Pub in Belmont and onto Sheephouse Lane, where they will be cheered on by the infamous masked wrestlers. Ironman Sheephouse Lane

They will then head back towards Bolton town centre. From here competitors will go back towards Bury to start the next loop of the course. 

The route will be also slightly faster due to a 650ft reduction in climbing.

Sam Brawn, Ironman UK Race Director, said: “Year after year we continue to be inspired by every athlete that has taken on the Ironman UK race. 

“We want to make sure our athletes have the best experience possible and because of this, we have decided to make some changes the 2020 bike course.

“As we always do, we wanted to make sure that the athletes' experience was a focal point when planning the 2020 race. 

“We are excited that this year athletes will get to experience more of the iconic Ironman UK spectators’ support, as their families and friends will get to cheer them on multiple times!”

Festival weekend of sport

This year will once again see a full, three-day festival weekend of sport with the addition of Night Run on Friday (July 10), followed by the world’s biggest Ironkids on Saturday (July 11), and the main event, Ironman UK on Sunday (July 12).

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, added: “We are really pleased that the Ironman UK team has listened to feedback from athletes.

“The new route means that we will get even more chance to cheer on athletes and support them on their journey.

“I know local communities will once again be out in force, as they were for Tour of Britain.

“I would also like to thank neighbouring authorities for their support which allows us to put on this great event, attracting thousands to our region.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council Leader, Mohammed Khan, said: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming Ironman UK back to Blackburn with Darwen and extra excited to see if Brian can do the borough proud and retain his crown.

“We’ve worked with Bolton Council and Ironman to help make this happen and map out the new route for 2020 with a view to making it the best ever.”

Last year’s race was won by Brian Fogarty, from Blackburn. 

For more information on the new bike course and to register, please visit