ENTRIES are coming in fast for the Montgomery Canal Triathlon with the last day to book a place being 20th April.
The Triathlon, to be held on Saturday 20th May 2023 is run by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal to support further restoration of the canal. The route of th event is 28½ miles long—longer than a Marathon—and along the way entrants will:
Cycle, canoe and walk
* Cycle 12 miles along a cycleway-standard canal towpath from Newtown to Belan, south of Welshpool
* Canoe 5½ miles through Welshpool to Pool Quay with two locks where craft have to be carried round or floated down—help is available
* Walk 11 miles from Pool Quay across the border to Morton, south of Oswestry, Shropshire. This section is generally flat but there are some tree roots and stiles on the way.
Entrants can join one or two sections or take part in all three. Anyone who completes all three sections will receive a commemorative medallion of local slate printed in gold; completing two sections will earn a medallion printed in silver; and there will be a bronze printed medallion for anyone who completes a single section.
Highlights of the year
Christine Palin, Chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal explained:
“The Montgomery Canal Triathlon is one of the highlights of a year when so many exciting things are happening on the canal.
“Once again Triathlon entries are coming from our local area and from further across Great Britain: many are regulars who come each year, often bringing friends to join the event. This year we already have bookings from as far away as Scotland and the West Country.
“The Triathlon shows everything that the Montgomery Canal has to offer: lengths of canal which still have to be restored; the navigable section through Welshpool which has been open for 27 years; nature reserves specially created to safeguard special plants and wildlife—there will be more of these soon; bridges to be rebuilt in the next couple of years with UK Government Levelling-Up funding; Schoolhouse Bridge, where the towpath will be diverted following the start of work on the reconstruction of the canal’s last highway obstruction in Shropshire; and the newly-restored section to Crickheath Basin which will be formally opened shortly after the Triathlon date.
“As the biggest event on the canal, each year we call on many volunteers to support the entrants and make such a friendly event. We have a regular team who help with stewarding and transport, but we are always looking out for more. Anyone who thinks that 28½ miles of cycling, paddling and walking or running is not for them will be very welcome to join our volunteer team.”
Volunteer restoration work on the canal is supported by the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal jointly promoted by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal with the other local canal charities the Shropshire Union Canal Society and the Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch of the Inland Waterways Association. With donations and proceeds of the Triathlon the Friends of the Montgomery Canal have given over £30,000 to the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal with much more coming from individual members.
Entries can be booked at https://themontgomerycanal.org.uk/events/book-online-for-the-2023-montgomery-canal-triathlon/.
Organisers stress that the Montgomery Canal Triathlon is not a race, and entrants will have to take care both on the towpath and when crossing roads where they currently block the canal.