ENTRIES are pouring in for the Montgomery Canal Triathlon to be held on Saturday, May 18.

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 store in Newtown.

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.

“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.”

Booking details are at www.montgomerycanal.me.uk/may2019.html and montcanaltriath@btinternet.com. The closing date for entries is May 4.

Canal facts

  • The Montgomery Canal runs from Frankton Junction near Ellesmere, through Welshpool to Newtown. It was closed after a burst bank in 1936. Over the years, hundreds of volunteers of Shropshire Union Canal Society and the Inland Waterways Association’s Waterway Recovery Group have spent many thousands of days working to restore its locks, bridges and weirs.
  • The Friends of the Montgomery Canal is the membership section of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust. The trust was formed in 1980 to work in partnership with other organisations to promote the restoration of the Montgomery Canal.
  • The trust is a member of the Montgomery Canal Partnership – which includes the Canal & River Trust and public and voluntary groups interested in the canal and its natural and built heritage. The partnership has published a strategy which has the ambition to reconnect Welshpool to the national canal network in 10 years, subject to funding, https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/28659-the-montgomery-canal-restoration-strategy.pdf
  • The Friends of the Montgomery Canal is part of the group running the Restore the Montgomery Canal! Appeal which is targeting the reconstruction of Schoolhouse Bridge near Crickheath.