The Canal Triathlon will be back in full in May

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The Montgomery Canal Triathlon will take place this year, organizers have confirmed, and it will start in Newtown.

The event, disrupted for two years by the coronavirus pandemic, will take place on May 7.

The triathlon is organized by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and is supported by the Canal and River Trust in support of the restoration of the Montgomery Canal. It is one of the most popular cross-border events, starting in Newtown in Wales and ending in Shropshire.

The event supports the restoration of the canal and ran for eight years before the 2020 coronavirus caused a postponement to 2021.

The ninth triathlon was held on September 4, 2021 and, due to ongoing restoration work at Crickheath, was shorter than the usual 35 miles at a special ‘marathon’ length of approximately 27 miles.

This year’s triathlon is scheduled for May 7 and will have a similar “marathon” format and duration to last year, starting at Open Newtown’s “Severn Space – Gofod Hafren” site and ending near the works of dining at Crickheath, near Oswestry. There will be:

• a 12-mile cycle section from Newtown to Belan

• 5½ miles by canoe through Welshpool to Pool Quay

• and 9½ miles on foot to the finish at Crickheath.

Christine Palin, President of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, said: “We look forward to the triathlon and hope that this year it will not be affected by any restrictions. Last year’s conditions forced us to move the event to the fall. There has already been so much interest, even before reservations have opened, that we hope that we will not have to limit the number of participants.

“Last year’s alternate format was enjoyed by many participants, so we’ll be doing it again, starting from the new Open Newtown base – we hope this exciting project will be complete by May. The new arrangements mean canoeing through the center of Welshpool, drawing attention to what the canal will bring to the town when it is linked to the rest of the waterway system.

“The event also shows what has been achieved so far in the reopening of the canal. After the closure, many road bridges were removed, blocking the canal: the cycle section includes five of these crossings; in contrast, the Canoeists will see the bridges to the north and south of Welshpool which are open to boating again.

“The final section on foot, on the section to the Welsh border and through Llanymynech includes the four roadblocks which can be re-opened with recently announced government grants as well as the Schoolhouse Bridge which will be rebuilt this year as one of most exciting projects of the Restoration.”

Christine added, “The Montgomery Canal Triathlon has always been successful in raising funds for restoration. The call Restore the Montgomery Canal! raises the final funds for the rebuilding of the Schoolhouse Bridge, which is the largest project volunteers have ever undertaken on the canal.

“The triathlon is popular with families as well as the more athletic with participants aged 8 to 80 coming from across the country – and sometimes beyond! We are sure this year will be just as enjoyable.

Booking for the Montgomery Canal Triathlon will open in the coming weeks and will only be available via the website https://themontgomerycanal.org.uk/friends/montgomery-canal-triathlon/.

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