The canoeing section of the Montgomery Canal Triathlon.
The April 20 deadline for Montgomery Canal Triathlon entries is fast approaching with people from across the UK having already booked their places for the 28.5-mile event.
The popular triathlon, to be held on Saturday, May 20, is run by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal to support further restoration of the canal. Entries can be booked at https://themontgomerycanal.org.uk/events/book-online-for-the-2023-montgomery-canal-triathlon/.
Entrants are challenged to cycle 12 miles along the canal towpath from Newtown to Belan, south of Welshpool before canoeing 5.5 miles through Welshpool to Pool Quay and then walking 11 miles from Pool Quay across the border to Morton, south of Oswestry.
Entrants can join one, two or all three sections and there will be medallions printed in gold, silver and bronze dependent on how many sections are completed.
Christine Palin, Friends of the Montgomery Canal chairman, said: “The Montgomery Canal Triathlon is one of the highlights of a year when so many exciting things are happening on the canal.
“Once again, triathlon entries are coming from our local area and from further across Great Britain. Many are regulars who come each year, often bringing friends to join the event. We already have bookings from as far away as Scotland and the West Country.
“The triathlon shows everything that the Montgomery Canal has to offer. As the biggest event on the canal, each year we call on many volunteers to support the entrants and make such a friendly event. We have a regular team who help with stewarding and transport, but we are always looking out for more.
“Anyone who thinks that 28½ miles of cycling, paddling and walking or running is not for them will be very welcome to join our volunteer team.”
Entrants will see lengths of canal which still have to be restored, the navigable section through Welshpool which opened 27 years ago and nature reserves specially created to safeguard special plants and wildlife – there will be more of these soon.
They will also see bridges to be rebuilt in the next couple of years with UK Government Levelling-Up funding, Schoolhouse Bridge, where the towpath will be diverted, following the start of work to rebuild the canal’s last highway obstruction in Shropshire and the newly restored section to Crickheath Basin which will be formally opened soon after the triathlon.
Volunteer restoration work on the canal is supported by the Restore the Montgomery Canal! Appeal, jointly promoted by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal with the other local canal charities, Shropshire Union Canal Society and the Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch of the Inland Waterways Association.
With donations and proceeds of the triathlon, the Friends of the Montgomery Canal have given more than £30,000 to the appeal, with much more coming from individual members.
Organisers stress that the triathlon is not a race and entrants will need to take care both on the towpath and when crossing roads where the canal is currently blocked.
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