ENTRIES are now open for the world’s largest Ironkids, which will be held in Bolton next summer.

Almost 1,600 children took part in this year’s race making it 2013’s biggest global Ironkids event.

And organisers are confident that the 2014 event will again be the world’s largest when it takes place on July 19.

The running event, held by Ironman UK and Bolton Council, is an exciting addition to the main Ironman UK race that takes place the same weekend.

It is open to children aged three to 14 with different distances depending on the school year and age of the child. Bolton Council’s cabinet member for sport, Cllr Anthony Connell, said: “Once again, we are delighted to support Bolton’s IronKids which grows in popularity each year.

“This year’s event was much larger than the first time it was held in 2012, when 1,000 children took part, which just shows how popular it is becoming.

“It’s a great family fun day out which encourages young people to get involved in sport and improve their health and possibly inspire them to go on to become a top athlete in the future.

“With the growing numbers of entrants and limited places available, I urge young people and their families to sign up early to avoid disappointment.”

Children currently in school year one and below will compete in a 500m run (accompanied by a parent/guardian); those in years 2 to 5 will run 1km, years 6 to 8 will run 1.5km and those in years 9 to 10 will complete a 2.5km run. The race routes will be confirmed at a later date.

Managing director of Ironman UK and Ireland, Kevin Stewart, added: “We were delighted with the turnout for Bolton’s second Ironkids event and we are looking forward to it again in 2014. It is great that it has proved to be so popular and I am sure the runners, their families and visitors will turn out in their thousands again.”

To enter, parents or guardians need to complete an entry form at ironkids.co.uk.

The entry fee is £2 per child plus a small admin fee if entering online. Applications can also be made in person at Bolton Council’s One Stop Shop, Bolton Central Library, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday where payment can be made by cash or cheque.

The ethos of the event is to encourage participation and not on results, so there will be no place prizes.

Instead each child will receive a special commemorative Ironkids T-shirt and medal.

For more information call 01865 596266 or visit ironkids.co.uk