Winter Hill fire affects Ironman contest

Burnt areas of Winter Hill Download Image

Due to the large wildfire on Winter Hill, the organisers of the Ironman contest have met with local authorities and regrettably a decision has been made to change the route.

Assistant Chief Officer, Dave Russel says:

“The Winter Hill fire has been an unprecedented incident to deal with in terms of scale and the operational challenges it has presented us with. LFRS and our partner agencies, the volunteers such as Mountain Rescue Teams, Salvation Army (catering) and all the other men and women who have helped us have met and overcome those challenges magnificently.”

“Throughout, the understandably huge news media and social media interest has been something we have welcomed and managed safely as an essential way of informing and advising the public about the incident and the issues, such as road closures and access, we have had to ask for to keep them safe and to ensure that they have not hindered our incident response.”

“The public have responded magnificently throughout, co-operating willingly to our requests concerning access and fire and other appliance movements, in addition to their truly overwhelming messages of support and regard.”

“The Ironman contest is something we have throughout wanted to see happen, but given the dynamic nature of the incident, it has not been possible to predict with any certainty that it could go ahead, or if it could, the extent to which our response and responsibility for competitor and general public safety might impose some route changes.”

“Thank you for your co-operation.”


Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Youth, and Sport Cllr John Byrne, added: “Ironman is one of the world’s toughest events and we understand athletes’ upset about the shortened bike course but these really are exceptional circumstances.

“The safety of athletes and the public has to come first and we are now focused on working alongside Ironman to deliver another fantastic event.

“Bolton residents love the amazing spectacle of Ironman and I would also like to wish everyone competing the best of luck – it is a huge feat and I’m looking forward to cheering everybody on.”



Advice for spectators – viewing points and entertainment

 Spectators are advised to view the race at the following points on the bike course: Babylon Lane (in Adlington), Hunters Hill (Bannister Lane) and Pepper Lane (Standish).

People coming into Bolton for the run course and finish can park for free (available on weekends) at NCP Topp Way (BL1 2DJ), NCP Octagon (BL1 1TN) and NCP Deane Road (BL3 5DX).

A packed programme of entertainment for families has also been laid on for the weekend.

On Saturday, from 7.30am and Sunday, from 1pm, free sports activities including boxing, gymnastics and zorbing will be on offer in in the town centre, near Marks and Spencer.



Travel advice – road closures

 To facilitate Ironkids, road closures will be in place in the town centre, and a number of road closures will also be in place in and around Bolton, Wigan, Chorley and Lancashire on Ironman UK day.

Marshalls will be present to allow access for emergency services, residents, and businesses. Shoppers are advised that Middlebrook Retail Park will be open as usual 11am to 5pm – please enter from De Havilland Way past Tesco.


For a full list of all road closures, visit the Ironman UK website. Details of all Bolton closures also available here:


For more information contact Ironman UK on 0333 011 6600 or e-mail

For more information on the route, please visit: