Dec
09
2009

Eddie Izzard bids for Ironman glory as event is confirmed for 2010

[from Boltonnews.co.uk]

THE Ironman UK Triathlon is returning to Bolton in 2010, organisers have confirmed.

But the route which competitors will follow will undergo a redesign after swimmers were banned from Rivington Reservoir.

The reservoir’s owners, United Utilities, have said allowing it to be used sends mixed safety messages.

The contest — a gruelling race featuring a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle ride and a marathon — will be held on August 1, 2010.

This year’s event brought more than £4.2 million into the local economy.

Cllr Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council, said: “We’re delighted that the decision to bring the Ironman event to Bolton has brought a real boost to the economy.

“We are looking forward to next year’s event and we will be working closely with all our partners to make the event grow from strength to strength.”

Changes to the route have been made and the swim will now take place at the Pennington Flash lake in Leigh.

The cycle race will loop from Pennington Flash to Rivington, through Blackrod and back to the reservoir, where the run will start and go into Bolton town centre, following much of last year’s route from Rivington, ending in Victoria Square. A spokesman for United Utilities said of the Rivington decision: “Over the last year we have been reviewing our policy on swimming in reservoirs.

“We have now taken the difficult decision to ban all swimming activities, even well-organised events such as Ironman UK.

“Eight people have drowned in our reservoirs in the last four years, two this year alone and we cannot risk giving out mixed safety messages.”

Registration is now open and more than 8,000 competitors have already registered an interest in taking part, including comedian Eddie Izzard.

Fresh from his 43 marathons in 51 days in aid of Sport Relief, Izzard said at the weekend that he was aiming to take part in next summer’s Ironman contest.

He said: “I’ve just started taking up swimming because I want to do an Ironman now. I have become fascinated with fitness because there’s no point in throwing away all that training. I just want to keep up and get more healthy.”

Athletes interested in taking part in the 2010 Ironman UK Triathlon can register their interest at www.ironmanuk.

Written by Momo in: News |

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