Ironman UK held in Bolton last weekend reached more than five million views from fans all around the world on Facebook.
Live race coverage of the gruelling triathlon attracted a global audience on Facebook Watch, and notched up 163,000 reactions and 9,500 shares.
Almost 10 hours of live broadcasting gave extensive coverage of the event, which saw thousands of athletes and spectators take over Bolton at the weekend for the town’s tenth Ironman UK spectacular.
Around 2,500 competitors swam, cycled and ran in the epic challenge, finishing in Bolton town centre on Victoria Square, on Sunday, July 15.
This year, athletes swapped their bikes for running shoes at Queens Park, on Spa Road – previously this took place at the Macron Stadium. The park also hosted free live music and free family fun.
The world’s largest Ironkids, held the day before, saw 3,000 children participate in the town centre ‘fun run’.
The event is worth around £3 million a year to the local economy and Bolton has successfully staged the triathlon since 2009.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Cllr John Byrne, said: “Once again Bolton’s Ironman weekend has been fantastic for the town and for the region.
“The live Ironman show had huge global appeal and reach on Facebook, showcasing Bolton to millions of people all over the world.
“Athletes from all around the world travelled here to take part in the most gruelling feat of endurance, and their supporters and our residents were out in force, cheering them every step of the way.
“Together with the world’s largest Ironkids, the whole weekend brought a real boost to the town.
“And this year Bolton was really at the heart of all the action – transition took place at Queens Park, the athlete’s village was located outside the Town Hall, and the Albert Halls hosted registration and briefings.
“Ironman UK brings in millions of pounds to the local economy and the whole town really gets behind it.
“We are proud to be hosts of Ironman UK - it shows Bolton at its best.”
Organisers have also confirmed that Ironman UK 2019 will take place on July 14, with Ironkids the day before on July 13.
General entries for the triathlon will be available online on www.ironman.com/uk on Monday, July 23.
Ironman UK Race Director, Sam Brawn said: “The tenth edition of Ironman UK Bolton will go down as one of the most memorable.
“So many people worked together to make this event possible and the support from the people of Bolton was once again a real highlight and one of the big reasons this race is so special.
“Even after ten years, the way in which the people of Bolton have taken ownership of this event is incredible. Well done to our athletes who showed resilience and determination. We now go into planning for next year and look forward to coming back in 2019.”
Bolton will continue to host the Ironman UK triathlon until 2022.