The Ironman UK’s charity foundation is donating $10,000 to two Lancashire groups whose efforts were vital in the battle against the Winter Hill fire.
Donations of $5,000 (£3833.60) are going to the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team (BMRT) and the Rivington Gardens Trust, who played a central part in the response, with both groups still working alongside Lancashire and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Services.
With the Ironman UK having taken place last month in and around the hills of Winter Hill and the roads of Chorley, Rivington, Standish, and Parbold, race organisers felt it was right to give something back to the local community in which the premier race is based.
This year's cycling section of the race was cut short by 17 miles due to the fire that had engulfed Winter Hill.
Ironman UK and Ireland Managing Director, Declan Byrne, said: “In times of disaster, we stand together with our community and local council partners to provide support to help meet critical needs and move recovery forward.”
Diane Blakeley from BMRT explained how 46 volunteers put in more than 2,100 man hours, adding: "It’s been a massive challenge with many of our members in work during the day, then on duty on Winter Hill at night, but as team members we love what we do, we love the moors and we want people to be able to enjoy them safely when the fires are finally put out.
“[The donation] will make a big difference and will help us to replace or repair some of the equipment damaged over the past few weeks and start our appeal to raise funds to replace one of our emergency vehicle.”
Andrew Suter from the Rivington Gardens Trust explained how the Trust created fire breaks, cleared vegetation, felled trees, and staffed roadblocks to ensure the local community’s safety.
He added: “It has been an amazing effort and shows what can be achieved when everyone works as a team.
"We’re hopeful now that the worst has passed and that we can get back to the day job of restoring these amazing gardens so that people can get outdoors and enjoy them.
"We‘re so grateful to the Ironman Foundation for their generosity. This money will be used to conserve and repair the Terraced Gardens following the fire."
The 2019 Ironman UK will take place Sunday 14 July 2019, general entries are now open on the event website.