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Shropshire

Bookings open for the Montgomery Canal Triathlon May 18

Montgomery Canal Triathlon is set to bring entries from across Britain on May 18 fir the 12th year.

The participants will see sections of the Montgomery Canal that have been restored, others where restoration work continues and the remaining sections which still have to be brought back to life.

The annual triathlon, starting in Newtown and ending in Shropshire, is one of the most popular cross border events and is organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and supported by the canal owners, the Canal & River Trust. Money raised goes towards the canal restoration.

Organisers say the triathlon is an endurance event, not a race and entrants can choose to do the whole course or only one or two sections. It’s a great day out for families with children, groups of friends, experienced triathletes and those who enjoy just a communal bike ride, paddle or walk.

This triathlon has had several formats over the years and is now a special ‘marathon’ length of about 27 miles to the finish at Schoolhouse Bridge, Crickheath, near Oswestry, the site of a major restoration project of 2023.

Christine Palin, Friends of the Montgomery Canal chairman, said: “The Montgomery Canal Triathlon is one of the biggest events on or near the canal. It is a great event for families as well as the more athletic.

“Over the years, it has been joined by solo entries and families with ages from eight to 80. I am sure this year will see as many joining in again.

“As usual, the event will start in Newtown with a cycling route along the attractive towpath towards Welshpool, followed by the canoe section on the navigable canal through Welshpool which always attracts a lot of attention from passers-by.

“After the final changeover, participants will jog or hike along a section with a lot of restoration activity to cross into Shropshire at Llanymynech. The final two miles on foot is part of the Shropshire Gap, a derelict section where funds are still needed for restoration.

“A great deal is happening on the canal this year with channel and towpath improvements in Powys under the UK government Levelling-Up Fund.

“There will be new nature reserves to safeguard the canal’s special flora and fauna and safe towpath routes at some of the remaining road crossings.

“In Shropshire, volunteer working parties, supported by our Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal, are working to restore the canal north of the triathlon finish which has been dry and derelict for 80 years.

“The proceeds of the triathlon will support the appeal to provide them with equipment and materials.

“The next few years will see many improvements along the Montgomery Canal, while all the time care will be taken to protect what is special about the canal which will be a great benefit for residents and visitors.”

All entrants who complete a section receive a commemorative medallion made from local slate. Bookings can be made through www.TheMontgomeryCanal.org.uk/friends/montgomery-canal-triathlon/ which will give details of this year’s arrangements which are slightly different from 2023.

Entries must be booked by April 18, though bookings may close earlier if the event is fully subscribed.

Picture caption:

Last year’s Montgomery Canal Triathlon.