Successful Montgomery Canal Triathlon

Published: Friday, 24 May 2019

SUCH was the interest in the Montgomery Canal Triathlon that it was filmed by BBC Wales TV for later showing as part of a series.

Hundreds of people came to the event on Saturday 18th May for the annual Montgomery Canal Triathlon organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, that supports the restoration of the canal.

Cyclists waiting to start

Cycling, walking, canoeing

It involved a 17miles cycling section from Newtown to Pool Quay, including five road crossings where the canal was blocked after it was closed. The above photograph shows the cyclists ready to start.

11 miles on foot to Morton, south of Oswestry, with two more road crossings at blockages on the A483 and three more at minor roads

A final seven miles section by canoe to finish near the junction with the Llangollen Canal, with the need to carry canoes past four locks which they may not use.

Canoes leave Queens HeadThe photograph shows canoeists leaving Queen's Head.

Series of films

This year the event was filmed as part of a series of programmes on the Welsh canals to be shown later in the year on BBC Wales TV, including the Montgomery, Llangollen, Monmouthshire & Brecon and Swansea Canals. The programmes are to feature rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards and his wife Maureen as they visit each of the canals.

Sir Gareth Edwards, assisted by the Mayor of Newtown & Llanllwchaearn, Councillor Sue Newham, started the cyclists at Newtown at 8.30am. He then followed the event at the changeover points, finally greeting the weary entrants at the end of the canoe section.

Walkers at Vyrnwy Aqueduct245 took part

245 people booked a place on the Triathlon, many local to the canal, but others coming from further afield. In addition over 85 marshals, drawn from the membership of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and their friends, were on hand at changeover points, and assisting at locks and road crossings.

The photograph shows competitors on foot at Vymwy Aqueduct

Christine Palin, Chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal explained:

“The Montgomery Canal Triathlon is a wonderful event which people come back to year after year. We also have new entrants of course, and this year as well as local teams other entrants came hundreds of miles to take part. Among those who completed all three sections were more than one family with a child under ten years old, and at least one who took part was over eighty!

“This year we had a truly international flavour as we offered entrants the chance to have their photograph taken, to be emailed to them, as they passed over the border from Wales into England and even more exciting was that we learned that a family had come from Switzerland for the weekend especially to take part in all three sections. They live in the Alps above Lausanne. They were delighted with the canal and its scenery and thought that the Triathlon was a brilliant idea to showcase the canal and its benefits to the community.

“This year the first participant finished in an amazing 4 hours and 13 minutes but others were arriving over five hours later. But that doesn’t matter, because our Triathlon is very much a fun event attracting groups of family or friends and at the end they tell us what a delightful event it has been.

[We have not been told the results.]