Shropshire Star

Canal triathlon under starters orders for the weekend with nearly 200 entrants expected

The rescheduled, eleventh Montgomery Canal Triathlon will take place on Saturday with almost 200 people from across the UK taking part.

Last updated
BORDER WORDS REPORTERS WITH VIDEO. Montgomery triathlon alongside Montgomery canal. Still fresh at the start of the rowing section. PIC BY MARK BOOTH 10/5/14.

The original timetable for the popular triathlon, which raises funds for the restoration of the canal, was interrupted when the Coronation was announced for the original date.

This year nearly 200 entrants will cycle 12 miles from Newtown to Belan Locks, south of Welshpool. They will then canoe five-and-a-half miles through Welshpool before running the final 11 miles across the border at Llanymynech to Morton, south of Oswestry.

The event will start at Hafan yr Afon, Open Newtown’s new community and visitor centre on the banks of the River Severn.

Christine Palin, Chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal said: “The Triathlon is popular with families and the more seriously competitive, many coming from far and wide to take part and often bringing friends to join the event for the first time.

“This year nearly two hundred people – some from as far as France, Scotland and the West Country – are coming to join some or all of the three sections. We have about a hundred volunteers to marshal the event too. It’s a big day for the Montgomery Canal.

“With more restoration works under way this year’s route will be slightly longer than last year – and longer than the London Marathon.

On the way entrants will see restored locks and reopened lengths of canal and others waiting for restoration after years of dereliction, as well as canalside nature reserves created to safeguard the canal's special flora and fauna, and bridges that have been reopened and others that still have to be opened up. Before Llanymynech they will see the section dredged earlier this year to remove invasive water plants and open up the flow of water as part of major works funded by the UK Levelling-Up Fund.

“After crossing the Welsh border the last mile of the route passes the site of Schoolhouse Bridge where contractors are working on the reconstruction of the canal’s last highway obstruction in Shropshire. Then they will see restoration work of the volunteers of the Shropshire Union Canal Society who have successfully restored the canal channel to the new basin at Crickheath and are now working to rewater the length towards Schoolhouse Bridge.

“The new bridge and channel restoration are funded by volunteer donations and we are pleased that through the Triathlon the Friends of the Montgomery Canal have been able to give over £30,000 to the Restore the Montgomery Canal appeal. We are delighted by the generous support from so many entrants and supporters over the years and hope this year’s event will help us to add to that.

“We know that entrants always enjoy our Triathlon. We receive many compliments on the event and the arrangements we make for people taking part. We look forward to meeting old friends and new ones who will be joining us for the first time. And we all look forward to the day when the revived Montgomery Canal will bring visitors and boats back to mid-Wales – that’s what the Montgomery Canal Triathlon is all about.”

Information about the event can be found online at

The first cyclists will start at 9.15am, with others setting off at brief intervals until about 9.30am.

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.