Another successful Montgomery Canal Triathlon

Published: Friday, 31 May 2024

THE twelfth Montgomery Canal Triathlon brought to the warm and sunny Montgomery Canal 175 entrants from across Britain.

From Wales and Shropshire as well as Derbyshire, Essex, Lancashire, Somerset, Yorkshire—and even France and Holland.

Montgomery2024CanoeCycle, canoe and hike

They had come to cycle, canoe and hike the 27 miles from Newtown to Crickheath, near Oswestry; most entrants attempted all three sections.

The event is organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal in aid of the restoration of the Montgomery Canal and is supported by the canal owners, the Canal & River Trust.

After an initial briefing to advise entrants of the arrangements at locks and highway crossings and to instruct them how to pass nesting swans, Councillor Mike Childs, Deputy Mayor of Newtown, wished entrants good luck in taking part in this unique event in a lovely part of the world.

Having started on bicycles, this year participants changed to canoes near Whitehouse Bridge, Welshpool, thanks to the generous permission of Powis Estates. After paddling through the centre of Welshpool they left their canoes at Pool Quay ready for the final 9½ mile walk across the border at Llanymynech to the finish at Schoolhouse Bridge, the newest structure on the canal.

Mongomery2024CycleSuch a friendly event

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

“So many people come back to the Montgomery Canal Triathlon year after year because it is such a friendly event. It is an endurance event rather than a race and many people take much of the day to complete it, some over eight hours. Others however want to better their previous times and arrive at the finish just over three hours from the start.

“The Triathlon raises funds for the restoration and it is a great advertisement for the area too.

“It takes many months for our volunteer team to set up the Triathlon and we call on a hundred supporters to help at the event and they enjoy it as much as those taking part. We are always glad of more help, though we cannot guarantee that it will always be as warm and sunny as today! Anyone who would like to support the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and the Triathlon can contact us through our website”

Great to see so many people

Michael Limbrey, Chairman of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, added:

“It has been great to see so many people enjoying the canal again this year. The restored Montgomery Canal is a unique cross-border linear attraction for wildlife, history, and recreation and well-being. It will be a great boost for the area helping make it attractive for people to live and work, as well as visit.

“Restoration concentrates on the canal’s ecology and history. At the same time bridge improvements will make road crossings safer for walkers and cyclists and coming months will see more works under the UK government Levelling-Up Fund. Two blocked bridges near Carreghofa will be rebuilt and new nature reserves will be created to enhance the canal’s ecology.

"In Shropshire the new Schoolhouse Bridge, the finish for this year’s triathlon, has been a project led by canal volunteers to remove the final highway obstruction in Shropshire and volunteers are now working to restore the channel to the bridge assisted by our Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal which is always glad to receive donations at .

“So many places along revived Montgomery Canal are worth a visit. It has been fun to show them to this year’s triathlon entrants and we hope they will come back to join us again next year.”

The organisers are grateful to Montgomery Waters, Morrisons and Tesco who donated refreshments, to the volunteers of the Welshpool Towpath Taskforce, TRAMPS, who did so much to prepare for the event, and to Hire a Canoe of Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, who helped the event for the first time by providing canoes for many of the entrants.