Triathlon to support Montgomery Canal restoration
Outdoor enthusiasts can take part in a fun triathlon with a difference on the Montgomery Canal.
The annual event sees people of all ages and abilities sign up for the event which takes place on May 2 on the canal, which runs through Shropshire and mid Wales.
Entrants can join one, two or three sections, cycling 17 miles from Newtown to Pool Quay near Welshpool, continuing on foot for eleven miles to Morton south of Oswestry and finally canoeing for seven miles to the finish below Frankton Locks near Ellesmere.
This year’s event was featured in the Montgomery Canal programme in the series Gareth Edwards’ Great Welsh Adventure screened in October on BBC1 Wales.
Triathlon Entry Coordinator Maggie Ellis said the Triathlon was established as a popular and family-friendly event which brought people from across the country each year.
“We were receiving bookings for next year's Montgomery Canal Triathlon within days of notifying past entrants, and they seem to be coming in faster than ever.
“The triathlon is the canal’s biggest event of the year with families and friends joining every year, many from a long way away – last year we were joined by a family who live in Switzerland.
“With growing popularity we have to remember that the canal and particularly the towpath can only take a limited number of entrants, and every year we are concerned that we might have to turn away someone trying to make a late booking. So the message is to book early."
She said that the triathlon highlighted what had already been achieved with half the canal reopened since restoration started.
Though the towpath is open throughout, participants will see lengths of the canal which still have to be reopened by overcoming road blockages or by re-watering dry sections. They will also pass the new basin at Crickheath and the section being restored by volunteers of the Shropshire Union Canal Society, both projects supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Before that the route has passed the site of the flattened Schoolhouse Bridge, the last bridge blockage in Shropshire, where restoration should be starting next year.
“We run the triathlon to support the next stages of restoration of the Montgomery Canal and each year we are able to make a contribution to the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal which is seeking the last funds needed for Schoolhouse Bridge.
“As usual, entrants who complete any section will receive a commemorative medallion of local slate, printed in gold for anyone who completes all three sections, silver for those who complete two, and bronze if only one section is completed.
"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."
Booking details are at montgomerycanal.me.uk/fmcevents2020.html or from firstname.lastname@example.org.