MAJOR changes have been revealed to the Ironman UK race ahead of the event's 10th anniversary in Bolton next year.

The most notable updates see the movement of the event hub and second transition from the Macron Stadium to Queens Park.

Next year's race takes place on Sunday, July 15 — completing a huge weekend for the town, which also includes the Ironkids race and the newly-announced Killers and Little Mix concerts at the Macron.

While the 2.4 mile swim remains at Pennington Flash, competitors will now follow a slightly altered bike course to the second transition, before heading out onto the run course and finishing in Bolton town centre.

The event expo, registration, athlete village and finish line will be located in the town centre, with a venue to be confirmed in the coming months.

The 112 mile bike course remains largely similar to the previous edition of the race and continues to feature iconic sections of the course including the climbs on Sheephouse Lane and Hunter’s Hill as well as Babylon Lane which has become well-known for its Tour de France-style support.

Towards the end of the bike course, athletes will cycle along Chorley New Road, turn right on to Park Road, then Mayor Street and into Queens Park.

The 26.2-mile run, now starting at Queens Park, will consist of four laps taking athletes around Bolton town centre before ascending through Queens Park to Chorley New Road.

The course will then pass numerous spectator hotspots along the out and back leg of Chorley New Road, where both cyclists and runners will be on the course.

Athletes will then descend through Queens Park and return to Bolton town centre, finishing at Victoria Square.

Sam Brawn, IRONMAN UK Race Director, said: “Having developed IRONMAN UK in Bolton into one of the most popular events in the UK, we looked at the event setup and how we could improve the athlete experience.

“Moving the second transition area and athlete village near Bolton town centre was a logical decision with athlete logistics in mind, but required intensive planning with Bolton Council to enable the change.

“This allows athletes and their supporters to plan their movements around two major venues, Pennington Flash and Bolton town centre, instead of three as in previous editions of the event. We are confident these changes will provide an improved experience for our athletes and their supporters, from registration, right through to collecting their bikes after the race."

Ironman UK moved to Bolton from Sherborne in 2009, since when it has gained a reputation across Europe as one of the best-supported and most challenging races.

It was announced in July that the race will remain in Bolton until 2022 and entries for next year's event are already over 80 per cent full.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, added: "Ironman UK has been a tremendous success during its time being held in and around Bolton. Thousands come from all over the world to cheer on the competitors in this most gruelling of challenges.

"We believe that these changes to next year's event will be great for the town centre. It will also make it even more accessible for the public to support the athletes as they move from their bicycles into the marathon run. Queens Park is a beautiful area right in the centre of our town and it is the perfect setting for this stage of the event.

"Next year will be the tenth Ironman in Bolton and we are constantly working with the organisers to make it as good an experience as possible."