THOUSANDS of athletes from across the globe were set to descend on Bolton this weekend to take part in the annual Ironman UK competition.

Coronavirus restrictions mean the event has been put on hold for a year, but we don’t want all the hard training to go to waste.

That’s why we’re asking people to set their own challenges this weekend and send us their pictures.

Whether it’s running a 5k, 10k, or children running a 1k - the equivalent of the Ironkids competition - we want to see pictures of people smashing their goals as we keep the Ironman spirit alive in Bolton this year.

Editor Karl Holbrook said: “Ironman is an amazing event and it’s a real shame this year’s contest has had to be cancelled. But we know many people will still be keen to run and cycle, setting themselves their own goals and smashing them this weekend. We can’t wait to see how people are keeping the Ironman spirit alive.”

The pictures will be featured in Monday’s paper. To be included, send your pictures with your name, age, and details of the challenge to

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “The Ironman weekend is one of the biggest sporting events in the region and one of the best weekends in the year for our town.

“What makes our Ironman weekend is that it is not just about elite sport - there is a fun run, and there is of course, Ironkids. No-one can fail to be moved seeing families come together as mums and dads run alongside their children.

“It is of course a huge sadness to us all to miss the event this year, but if you are able to capture some of the spirit over the weekend and either individually or as a family, do something physical which is Ironman inspired, regardless of your standard or ability, then that would be brilliant.

“And rest assured we will be working with Ironman to make next year’s events the best yet.”

The iconic race, billed as one of the toughest in the world, consists of a 2.4-mile swim in Pennington Flash, a 112-mile bike ride in and around Bolton, finishing with a marathon into Bolton town centre.

The borough has been home to the country’s longest running Ironman race for the past eleven years. Last year 2,000 athletes took part. Organisers have promised the race will be back next year with an “exceptional event experience”.

The Ironman weekend also includes the Night Run - a fun run for all ages - and Ironkids, where children are invited to run 1k. A total of 3,500 children were registered to take part this year. Next year the Night Run will take place July 2, Ironkids will take place on July 3, 2021 and the Ironman UK triathlon July 4, 2021.