BOLTON’S Ironman triathlon is now fully subscribed — more than five months earlier than last year’s event.

The race is one of six Ironman triathlons around the world which are already full, with competitors now only able to apply for places in the remaining three events this year.

The triathlons each involve a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, and in the Bolton event athletes start at Pennington Flash before cycling through Rivington, Chorley and Adlington and finish by running to Bolton town centre.

Kevin Stewart, managing director of Ironman Britain and Ireland, revealed tickets for last year’s event — which took place in July — sold out in March 2012 But tickets for this year’s triathlon, which involves 1,500 competitors, on August 4 sold out last October.

He said: “It sold out five months before last year’s event and the amount of people we’ve had emailing and calling begging for a place has been quite something.

“It think it’s due to the changes we’ve made over the last couple of years and working with the council to help make it much more of an event.

“We’ve had people saying they were only going to watch it for 10 minutes but four hours later they were still there, because it is quite spectacular when you see it.

“The athletes have commented on the support too, with one pro athlete saying he was close to giving up but was encouraged to the finishing line by the crowd.”

The town’s second IronKids event is set to double in size with 2,000 children running through the town’s streets.

IronKids will take place in the town centre on Saturday morning, August 3, the day before the main Ironman UK event.

Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris said: “It’s good news for Bolton that we’ve now got these types of events coming back to the town, it means they’re impressed with Bolton and the work we’ve done with them.”

For more information about the event, call Ironman UK on 01865 596266 or Bolton Council on 01204 332323.