Does Ironman UK still deserve its bad reputation?

No-one loves them.... they don't care.

1 to 20 of 53 messages
26/09/2012 at 16:25

I've done IM Wales and Outlaw. Lanza doesn't fit my lifestyle and I plain don't fancy Henley. So I keep on coming back to IM UK for 2013. It's just an hour's drive from home, has an interesting course and M-Dot cachet.

But practically nobody from here enters IM UK! It's a pirate-free zone with a reputation as positive as syphillis, Nick Clegg and shit sandwiches.

So does IMUK deserve the mucky PR, or is it a better race than commonly made out?

26/09/2012 at 16:31

All I can say is that I did IMUK in 2010 and loved it.  I much preferred it to the Outlaw as it had a bigger event feel and I enjoyed running around Bolton....( well someone's got to!!)  But I accept that it was my first one and maybe everyone feels good about the first 

26/09/2012 at 16:32

From what I can gather Barley and FB may be good candidates for some background info

26/09/2012 at 16:39

Thanks Slim. That's reassuring. I expect FB will be along sooner or later, Schmunks, and I know Barley has "history" there. I guess AndyB would be another one with a view, given that he lives in a caravan half way up Sheep House Lane. To your point, KK..... if you ever take a look at that other tri forum.... ... the one on the dark side....  they appear to have a more positive opinion.

Edited: 26/09/2012 at 16:39
26/09/2012 at 16:44

Without wishing to re-open the floodgates, there was a bit of a falling out between certain forumites and the race organisers 'back in the day' which rather took the gloss off it.  There were also some logistical problems when the race first relocated to Bolton.  Certainly there have been Pirates who have competed in recent years and (steepness of hill on bike course not withstanding) I've not seen anything bad reported.

Different set of race organisers now, so perhaps one day there may be a mass outing?

MTri    pirate
26/09/2012 at 16:46

I too did IM UK in 2010, my first, and couldn't really fault it.  Split transition was a bit of a pain, not so much during racking, or the race, but just collecting kit after the finish, as it had to be done that evening.

Organisation was excellent, and felt looked after, all things worked well.

Only downside, and I only have Wales to compare it against, is that with the swim/T1, T2 and the finish all being in differing locations, then there wasn't the buzz, as there wasn't a central focalpoint.  In Wales, everything goes on in the same locaiton, and Tenby just feels alive during IM weekend, I didn't get that feeling on Bolton.

However, I'll probably be back in 2013 for another go

26/09/2012 at 16:48

I did it in 2010... Have to say I really enjoyed the bike course.... and I liked the fact the run was short !!!

26/09/2012 at 16:50
M..TRIumphant wrote (see)

 Tenby just feels alive during IM weekend.

Amen to that. The whole town went nuts. I thought I was going to get linched on the mara when I dropped into a walk outside one of the pubs .

26/09/2012 at 16:55
kittenkat wrote (see)
Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)

I did it in 2010... Have to say I really enjoyed the bike course.... and I liked the fact the run was short !!!

Gotta love those 5k marafuns.

It wasn't that short you ........................................ !

26/09/2012 at 17:08

I had a really bad day at the office for IMUK 2010, So I didn't really notice anything about the run... Other than Rosie letting me have a gulp of his guinness and the explosion in the portaloo that cured all my ills

seren nos    pirate
26/09/2012 at 17:17

I haven't been up to IMUK.but you never seem to get the idea its well supported by reading all the reports.......sounds like one man and his dog compared to other IM races..................when you pay the big bucks.its nice to get a big feel event...IMW support is brilliant.....

if you are not fussed by the support then why not do one on the the ither 10 or so Ironman distance races in the UK which are much cheaper

Dustboy    pirate
26/09/2012 at 17:18

I had a go in 2009, the first Bolton one. I tried not to be prejudiced in any way. Swim was alright, if 400M too long cos the buoys moved, bike was quite nice and a half decent course. transition was a fecking nightmare, well, the bit that wasn't invisible under water. I never made the run, I think I was stuck in the mud...

I'd have a go in principle again, no it wasn't buttery smooth and I think there was a bit too much trading on the Mdot label. It was no better than an average club one with transition in a field, just a lot longer and overpriced tradesmen with a captive audience.

The people of Bolton were great though and there was a lot of support as long as you were "in the pack". They pulled the marshalls and some signs early on the last lap of the bike and a few back markers got lost.

I suppose at that money, you expect more. EG one thing I liked about Outlaw were the bike signs. One coming up to the junction to tell you where to go, one at the junction to confirm it and one after the junction so you know you were still going the right way. After X miles I need that repetition coz the brain has addled.   

26/09/2012 at 17:22

oi - don't drag me into this!!   I've not done IMUK and not even been to the one 'oop Narth. 

to expand a little on what Ferret said, I went to support the first IMUK when it was at Sherborne and frankly that was a bloody shambles with poor run course choice, poor organisation, and no light at some parts of the run when night fell which was downright dangerous.   the team that organised IMUK in it's earlier days (and before IM Europe took over the franchise) were pretty poor and couldn't take criticism - constructive or not - and would threaten legal action against anyone who openly criticised them.  as happened to a few Pirates who did the first IMUK which led to a general "ban" on supporting the race - a gesture of solidarity you could argue.  

for many, that early episode led to a general downer on the event although I think most would recognise that it's improved a lot since it's now run by IM Europe and it hasn't stopped quite a few pirates doing it and enjoying it.


AndyB99    pirate
26/09/2012 at 18:16
slowerthanilook wrote (see)

he lives in a caravan half way up Sheep House Lane. 

lol....thanks for that....proper made me laugh.

i do have an opinion...and its a good on...i've done it twice and mrsB has done it this year (i only finished once btw as if you dont know)

i know it had its problems in 2009 with the mud at T1 which they complained to United Utilities about who promptly told them to 'feck off then'...which led to split transition....which can be a pain but i think actually adds to the drama of the whole thing.

The swim is at Pennington flash and they now have monday night and saturday morning swims there so thats a bonus

they got it wrong once (though i wont admit this helped me and DONT believe it was wasnt right...WASNT!!!! basically the run is exactly the same course except you turn to the left instead of towards the finish when you hit the loop you go clockwise instead of AC


for my money its a brilliant race...incredibly well supported and a tough bike ride (past my caravan 3 times)

I'm doing wales this year though

26/09/2012 at 20:10
If I may from a newbie point my decision is pure and simple money, ??250 is a lot for a race for me but ??375 is to much pressure to gamble on a very big challenge of an Ironman distance race. Which I believe is possibly why most Pirate newbies are going for outlaw over IMUK for their first IM distance
Doner Kebab    pirate
26/09/2012 at 23:19

dont fancy coming down to enduroman STIL ?


cougie    pirate
26/09/2012 at 23:25
Bolton is probably an hours drive from me.
Instead of doing that I've raced all over Europe and even Nottingham !

Continental races have great atmosphere and you can make a holiday out of it.
Outlaw was a fantastic race with no split transition and great support and great routes.

Bolton just doesn't tick any boxes for me.
I've done plenty of MTB racing up there - but that run course always looks grim on the tv.

Each to their own though.
sweetfeet...    pirate
26/09/2012 at 23:44
I did IMUK in 2011 because I wanted to do the official IM in my own country and it suited some training partners due to less cost than traveling to europe. Four of us travelled up to do it and for the other three this was their first IM.

Swim in the flash was ok, bike course was challenging but enjoyable BUT the run course was at least a mile short if not 1.5. Which is frankly unacceptable. How can you franchise the brand offer people a full IM experience and then do that? Surely measuring the distance is the absolute basic requirement. Jokers.

For that reason alone I would not go back to IMUK. Yes the split transition was a faff but I would forgive that. Its an IM PB I always tag with "yeah but the run was short".
27/09/2012 at 00:36

Can't critise IMUK because I've never done it or even spectated.

But I had narrowed down my list of races for 2012 to two - IMUK and the Outlaw. (the two nearest)

I've done IM Lanzarote so that M Dot thing was less important than nailing the distance.

And I was happy that the course at Nottingham was going to be the right length. Especially the run which is a certified accurate 26.2 miles and that was very important to me.

Other selling points for the Outlaw were the logistics, Nottingham second closest to home (2:20 drive) (Bolton only 60 mins) But having everything (camping, transition, registration, showers, food etc etc) all within a few hundred meters has got to be better than split transitions. (plus I'd had a chance to see how all that worked at the club relays so knew what was what)

And obviously price is a major factor.

The Outlaw won.



Ultra AJH    pirate
27/09/2012 at 09:53

I did IMUK for my first in 2009, I loved it and thought the support was great. #

tbh I was glad there wasn't loads of pirates there cos this was my challenge to myself and if I failed I didn't want a hundred people to see it

I also was able to stay at my mil s in Lancashire which made things much cheaper although since I am banned from her house now I cant see me doing Bolton again. Which is a pity cos I would.

Outlaw was a very different experience, but I loved that too!

Maybe I'm just easily pleased.

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