Borough return for one of ‘world’s toughest’ race competitions

Published Thursday 13 February 2020 at 13:12

IRONMAN UK is coming back to Blackburn with Darwen after organisers announced an updated bike course.

IRONMAN UK has earned a reputation for being one of the toughest races in the world, with some of the best spectator support and race atmospheres in Europe.

This year’s event will take place on Sunday, July 12 and will consist of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride finishing with a marathon into Bolton town centre.

The bike route will take athletes through the northern countryside, starting with a point to point from Pennington Flash to Bolton for the first few miles. This will then become a 3-lap bike course to and from an experiential perspective, the route is slightly faster with 650 feet reduction in climbing.

And as part of the race’s return to Blackburn with Darwen there will be a few technical descents through Edgworth, Turton and Chapeltown at the north end of the course with a short stint on the A666. This will then lead into the descent through Egerton and Belmont.

Spectators are advised that the 2020 bike course will no longer use Pickup Bank, Eccleshill, Hoddlesden or Blacksnape Road towards Edgworth.

For one local man, the return of IRONMAN UK will prove particularly special. Brian Fogarty, 35, born and bred in Blackburn, is the reigning champion, taking the crown last year on his fifth attempt. He will be taking part again this year and hoping to retain the trophy.

The return of IRONMAN UK will also provide a welcome boost for tourism and local businesses in Blackburn with Darwen.

Road closures will be in place on the day which will be announced in due course.

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.

There will be some road closures on the day to allow the race to happen safely and we hope that people will embrace the event and come down and support the athletes. IRONMAN will be working closely with residents.

The return of the event will be great for tourism, attracting competitors and spectators from all over the world. It will provide a real boost for our local businesses that will benefit greatly from the volume of people coming to town for this highly regarded event.

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!

For more information on the new bike course, visit the IRONMAN, UK website

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