Over two hundred runners, cyclists and canoeists will flock to Montgomeryshire from far and wide for a sold-out triathlon event with a difference this weekend.

Delighted organisers of the Montgomery Canal Triathlon say all places have now been sold ahead of the cross-border event this weekend.

A total of 240 entries will cycle, walk and canoe down the 35 mile course from Newtown to Welsh Frankton on Saturday, May 18, while over 60 members and friends to help participants across roads which block the towpath and past locks which cannot be used by canoes.

The Triathlon will be started by Welsh rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards who is visiting the event as part of TV documentary commissioned by BBC Wales. He will be assisted by Sue Newham, Mayor of Newtown.

Christine Palin, Chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, said she was pleased to see the event as popular as ever.

"As usual, there are some keen athletes taking part as well as families who will tackle the event at a more leisurely pace. As well as local entries, we have a number of entrants from further away, some coming 200 miles or more from Scotland, East Anglia and London," she said.

“We are delighted that Sir Gareth Edwards and his wife Maureen will be joining us with the crew filming for BBC Wales. He will be starting the cyclists at Newtown and will then travel the course to meet people on the way to see how they are getting on.

"The Montgomery Canal Triathlon is a great event for the canal. It brings many visitors to see not only what the canal has to offer but our lovely area too. "

Entrants will have the opportunity to cover all the 35 miles of canal in one day by cycling for 17 miles from Newtown, then walking another 11 miles from Pool Quay, before finishing off with a 7 miles canoe to the finish below the locks at Welsh Frankton where the Montgomery Canal joins the rest of the national waterway network.

The Friends of the Montgomery Canal is part of the group running the 'Restore the Montgomery Canal!' appeal which is dedicated to seeing the Montgomery Canal restored to Llanymynech and mid-Wales. The group is targetting the reconstruction of Schoolhouse Bridge near Crickheath as a first step of the restoration from the end of the Heritage Lottery Fund supported restoration to Crickheath Wharf.

"Previous Triathlons have enabled us to make a substantial donation to the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal for future restoration works, and we hope that our entrants will be providing further sponsorship so we can do so again.

"All this would not be possible without the help of the many volunteers who turn out to help the entrants along their way. And this year we have assistance from Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ scheme which has helped us to keep the cost of entry the same as previous years even though the cost has been rising.

"Now we are just hoping that the weather will be kind to us: not too hot, and not too wet would be just right!" she added.