Published Monday 15 July 2019 at 14:04
Blackburn’s Brian Fogarty was crowned Ironman victor in yesterday’s ultra-triathlon – which came through Darwen this year.
Ultra athlete Brian Fogarty, cousin of Superbikes legend Carl Fogarty, swam, cycled and ran the gruelling 140.6-mile course in a supreme time of 9 hours, 27 minutes to cross the line first outside Bolton Town Hall.
Tens of thousands of athletes and spectators flocked the annual Ironman UK spectacular at the weekend.
This year saw the introduction of Night Run, a new 5k evening run on Friday and Ironkids.
For the cycling leg, promoters had devised a route, after a 2.4 mile swim around Pennington Flash, which took entrants up through Bolton and the outskirts of Ramsbottom to visit Helmshore, Grane Road and the edge of Darwen.
Competitors from Blackburn and Darwen joined more than 1,900 people of all ages and abilities start the race, and organisers have hailed the inaugural event a huge success and confirmed that the successful event will be back next year.
Athletes from 42 countries swam, cycled and ran in the epic Ironman triathlon, finishing in Bolton town centre on Victoria Square.
Brian Fogarty, Francesco Masciarelli and Lukas Siska took first, second and third places in the men’s.
Fogarty, from Blackburn, dedicated the race to his uncle Brian who sadly died 18 months ago.
He took the title for the first time, describing the feeling of completing the “tough” course as “the best feeling in the world” and praised the support.
Kelly Warrington, Emily Freeman, and Julia De Leeuw were the women’s podium finishers.
Emma Wardall and Yann Payen were the first over the finish line in Ironman UK’s first ever Military Division.
The Ironman weekend is worth around £4 million a year to the local economy.
Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
It’s been a fantastic event and my congratulations go to every competitor. I’d also like to thank the residents who were affected by the road closures for the day and for their patience.
We are proud to be part of the Ironman competition.
Ironman UK Race Director, Sam Brawn, added:
The support from the crowds was like none other.
We cannot wait to do this again next year!
Organisers have also confirmed next year’s dates: Night Run on July 10, Ironkids on July 11 and Ironman UK 2020 will take place on July 12.
General entries for the triathlon will be available online on www.ironman.com/uk on July 22.