Ironman UK is the original UK long-distance race, with colourful crowds and a famous finish line experience. But how do you conquer the logistics, lumpy bike and lapped run of Bolton?
Some sections are spookily quiet, but there’s sensational sporadic support en route, with locals sporting some outrageous outfits! At the Macron Stadium and T2 (it’s a split transition) there’s no assistance in racking your bike so be ready to find your number. The T2 tent offers a slightly larger privacy screen than T1, so if you want fresh kit for the run you can strip off.
The Bolton Bike course – provided by Veloviewer
A graphic showing the route and elevation profile of the Ironman UK bike course. Click here to see the full breakdown on veloviewer.com
The Ironman UK 180km bike course starts with a 22km ride from Pennington Flash to Anderton, where the first of two bike laps begins. The route flows over Rivington Reservoir before the ‘fun’ starts with the Sheep House Lane climb at 30km, which rises to an elevation of 327m. From 35km there’s a long, mostly downhill section before a tricky ascent at High Moor at 78km before lap two starts at the 100km point. T2 is the Macron Stadium in Bolton.
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Go to the last page to find out some invaluable Ironman UK run tips
There’s a 10km point-to-point route before the lapped 8km course, which makes it up to 42.2km. It’s mostly flat but the laps are mentally challenging and, as it’s in a built-up area, there aren’t many nice views. The aid stations every 4km offer bananas, sugary drinks and a bucket-load of cheers!
Lucy Gossage, who stormed to victory in 2015, takes on the Bolton run course. Credit: Getty Images
Having visited it three times already, the finisher funnel will feel like an old inflatable friend by the time you reach it. Ironman UK finishes at 11pm before it’s packed up fast, as if it were all just a beautiful dream of lactic acid, Lycra and ecstatic tears!
Ironman UK stats and figures
Average water temp: 16-19°C
Bike elevation: 1,641m
Run elevation: 290m
2015 DNF rate: 8%
2015 median finish time: 13:44:21
Ironman UK kicks off on Sunday July 17th 2016, more information can be found on the Ironman UK website. A big thanks goes to Janine, Veloviewer and all our other contributors for helping 220 put this guide together. Do you have some need-to-know tips of your own, or anything else to add? Let us know in the comments!