NightRun: 5k and 10k runs through the streets of Bolton on Ironman UK weekend returns - how to enter & details

Hundreds of athletes will take to the start line for a family-friendly event to kick off the Ironman UK weekend - here’s how you can be among them.

The gruelling Ironman UK triathlon has become well established in the Greater Manchester sporting calendar - and you could be on the start line at one of the events taking place during the weekend.

The NightRun kicks things off for the three days of athletic feats with 5k and 10k events taking runners through the streets of Bolton. It’s a family-friendly event in which runners of varying ages and abilities are able to take part - and may even find themselves rubbing shoulders with Ironman triathletes preparing to take on the fearsome endurance challenge a couple of days later.

Registration for the 2023 NightRun is now open, so here’s what you need to know if you fancy taking on the challenge.

When is the 2023 NightRun, what is involved and how do I enter?

The NightRun will take place in Bolton on Friday 30 June. It is the first of three events over the weekend and is followed by the Ironkids UK event on Saturday 1 July and the full Ironman UK triathlon on Sunday 2 July.

The NightRun is a family-friendly event with two courses to pick from: a 5k route and a longer 10k event which is being run for the first time in 2023. It’s a fairly relaxed event with many people taking part in groups with friends and colleagues and some even running in fancy dress. Some people taking part in Ironman UK even do the Friday night run as a warm-up or as an opportunity to take part in an event alongside their relatives and friends.

Last year around 1,000 people were on the start line for the 5k challenge and organisers hope the choice of two distances will swell the start list even further this time. You have to be aged 11 or over to take part in the 5k event, while the minimum age for 10k runners is 15.

Part of the NightRun course goes through Queens Park. Photo: Getty Images for IRONMAN

Organisers have also included a flatter course than last year to help any runners going for a PB, with the route taking people through the closed streets of Bolton and the scenic surroundings of Queens Park.

Another new introduction this year is chip timing, which will provide official results for the more competitive runners and give people new to distance running a time to compare their future efforts against. Registration for the NightRun is now open and you can find out more or book a place on the Ironman website here. There’s also an early bird discount for anyone who secures their place before Wednesday 25 January.

What has been said about the NightRun?

Ironman UK race director Dean Smith said: “NightRun has become firmly established as a popular part of the Ironman UK weekend. I’m really pleased to be able to raise the standard even further with the faster course, chip timing and official results. The entertainment and Ironman atmosphere will again be on show as always!”

Bolton Council deputy leader, Coun Hillary Fairclough, said: “Bolton is proud to host the UK’s largest Ironman weekend and NightRun is always a massively popular part of it.

“The atmosphere in the town centre will be fun and family-friendly, and with the addition of the 10k course and timings for every runner, both new for this year, NightRun will be even more popular than usual. And of course, signing up for a run is a great way to get fit in the New Year. Don’t miss out.”