ADVICE has been issued for residents as more than two thousand competitors are set to descend on Blackburn with Darwen up for this weekend’s gruelling Ironman UK triathlon.

This year the country’s biggest and longest running ironman race will come through parts of Darwen.

Ironman UK competitors have to complete a mammoth 2.4-mile open water swim, a 112-mile cycle and then run a marathon.

The new course for the cycling leg of the race takes in Bury, Ramsbottom, past the infamously arduous Rake Climb, Helmshore and then through rural Darwen and across the West Pennine Moors before descending Sheephouse Lane via Belmont and into Bolton for the marathon.

The cycling route also takes in part of Rossendale through Holcombe and past Helmsore and Haslingden along Grane Road before turning off onto Jackson Heights Road opposite the Grey Mare Inn.

Spectators will be cheering on the competitors in their crowds – with 10 brave competitors registered to take part from Blackburn and four from Darwen.

The best place to watch the cycle leg, which sees competitors tackle two laps of the course, is the Black Dog pub in Belmont.

The race can also be seen going past the Crown and Thistle pub on Roman Road, Hoddlesden, as well as the Black Bull Inn and the White Horse on Bolton Road in the centre of Edgworth.

Temporary road closures will be in place in the run up to the event to ensure the safety of the athletes and the wider public.

Residents are advised to be aware of road closures and plan their journeys.

Blackburn with Darwen Council Leader, Cllr Mohammed Khan, said: “Ironman is a huge event bringing visitors and investment into the borough.

“There will be some road closures on the day to allow the race to happen safely and we hope that people will embrace the event and come down and support the athletes.

“I’d like to say thank you to all residents and businesses affected in the area as we understand it can cause an inconvenience.

“The wider benefits are that the event will really help to put Darwen and our beautiful rural landscape on the map, it will be great for tourism, attracting competitors and spectators from all over the world.

“We are very proud to have 14 courageous people from our borough competing in this gruelling race and we wish them and all the rest of the competitors the very best of luck.”

Ironman UK race director, Sam Brawn, added: “Ironman UK is one of the biggest events of the year and with an event of this scale, certain road closures are necessary to ensure safety.

“The support of the people is what makes this event special and we thank everyone for getting behind the event.

“We look forward to an exciting race and hope to see the famous support on the course once more, cheering the athletes on.”

Which roads will be closed?

The following roads will be in use for the cycle event and will be closed for the duration of the race:

– Jackson Heights Road

– Long Hey Lane

– Johnson New Road

– Johnson Road

– Roman Road

– Blacksnape Road

– Roman Road

– Blackburn Road

– Bolton Road

– Green Arms Road

– A666 Blackburn Road

– Stones Bank Road

– Egerton Road

– A675 Belmont Road

– Rivington Road

For more information on the new bike course, road closure times and more details, visit the Ironman website.

For more information on the road closures or access queries, contact Ironman UK on 0333 011 6600 or e-mail

There are no restrictions to the emergency services during the event. Essential access for carers will be facilitated. Where necessary Ironman UK will organise a vehicle pass – please contact them directly.