Entries are coming in for the Montgomery Canal Triathlon to be held on Saturday 18 May 2019.
This popular event is organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and brings entrants from across the country to cycle, walk and canoe the 35 miles of canal from Newtown to Welsh Frankton. With three months to go, nearly a quarter of the places have already been booked.
This year’s event is supported by a grant from the ‘Bags of Help’ scheme voted for by shoppers at Tesco, Newtown.
Christine Palin, Chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal said:
“The Montgomery Canal Triathlon is one of the highlights of a year when so many exciting things are happening on the canal.
“We have a growing number of regular entrants who come each year, often bringing friends to join the event for the first time. We already have 60 bookings from as far away as Portsmouth and Edinburgh. To make the event manageable for those taking part, and for the organisers, we do have to limit the number of people who can join, so we encourage everyone to book early.
“The Triathlon is organised to support the restoration of the Montgomery Canal. A lot is happening on the canal this year with continuing improvements to the towpath, new canalside nature reserves and the restoration to Crickheath Wharf, all supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. In addition, the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal is hoping to raise the last funds needed to rebuild the last bridge blockage in Shropshire, so we are asking entrants to get sponsorship to help with more progress on the restoration of this special canal.
“This is the biggest event on the canal, and we need to provide a lot of support for entrants. We have a regular team of volunteers who come to help with stewarding and transport, but we are always on the lookout for more. If there is anyone who thinks that 35 miles of cycling, walking and paddling is not for them, there is a great opportunity to take part in a friendly event and help those who do.”
Cyclists will use the newly surfaced section of the towpath, along the cycleway from Newtown to Pool Quay. The walking section is generally flat but some lengths are unsuitable for wheelchairs.
There are several stiles, tree roots and possible livestock on the way. There are five road crossings for cyclists and four for walkers, all controlled by marshals. On the final section, canoes will have to be carried round four locks, and volunteers will be available to help.
As usual, entrants who complete any section will receive a commemorative medallion of local slate, printed in gold for entrants who complete all three sections, silver for those who complete two, and bronze if only one section is completed.
Organisers stress that 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.