More than 140 people have registered to take part in the Montgomery Canal Triathlon which will pass through the Welshpool area on May 7.
Organized by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, most bookings are for the whole triathlon, although some participants only join one or two of the three sections which are:
- 20km cycle from Newtown to Belan
- 5½ miles by canoe through Welshpool to Pool Quay
- and 9½ miles on foot to the finish at Crickheath.
Organizers warn that the towpath will be busy on the cycle and pedestrian sections and at two locks canoeists will negotiate, and cyclists and walkers will cross roads where the canal is blocked.
Anyone completing all three sections will receive a unique slate medallion, locally produced, printed in gold color, for two sections the medallion is printed in silver and one section receives a medallion with a bronze print.
Christine Palin, President of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, said, “The Montgomery Canal Triathlon is known for its friendliness by both the athletes and the families who participate for the fun.
“We strive to provide facilities for attendees – with canoe hire, round-trip transport and nearly 100 volunteer stewards – and they tell us our event is one of the best in that regard.
“This year’s event, our 10th triathlon, has returned to normal following the interruptions of the past two years and repeats last year’s course to finish at Crickheath, near Oswestry. At around 27 miles we let’s call it a triathlon marathon.
“While many participants come from Wales and Shropshire, others come from the West Midlands, Scotland, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire, Yorkshire, West London, Liverpool, France and Australia. I’m not sure that the participants from France and Australia come especially for the event!
“The Triathlon is the biggest event on the Montgomery Canal and shows all that this special canal has to offer, as well as the formidable frontier country it crosses. Participants will see the non-navigable canal from Newtown to Berriew, the reopened section through Welshpool to Arddleen, the motorway blockages obstructing the northern section of Arddleen and the dry section from Llanymynech to Pant to the finish.
“What is exciting is that thanks to a government grant of almost £15million, we expect work to start soon on the southern section of Llanymynech and on Schoolhouse Bridge in Crickheath, the last roadblock in Shropshire, where the event ends.
“As well as showing off the canal and our border campaign, the Triathlon is a great fundraiser for future restoration. The focus this year is on the school bridge, which is the subject of our latest fundraising appeal supported by Timothy West and Prunella Scales where every pound we raise is matched by an anonymous supporter. The call has already garnered a lot of support across the country and is already more than a quarter of the way to its goal. We are always eager to collect more donations through our website www.TheMontgomeryCanal.org.uk.”