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Successful Montgomery Canal Triathlon attracts entrants from Europe

LAST weekend’s 12th Montgomery Canal Triathlon has been declared a success, having attracted 175 entrants from across Britain and as far away as France and Holland.

The entrants covered the 27 miles from Newtown to Crickheath, near Oswestry by cycle, canoe and on foot, with most of them attempting all three sections.

The event is organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal to raise money for the restoration of the canal and is supported by the Canal & River Trust.

Councillor Mike Childs, deputy mayor of Newtown, set the entrants on their way on bicycles and they changed to canoes near Whitehouse Bridge, Welshpool, with permission form Powis Estates.

After paddling through the centre of Welshpool, they left their canoes at Pool Quay ready for the final nine-and-a-half mile walk across the border at Llanymynech to the finish at Schoolhouse Bridge, the newest structure on the canal.

Christine Palin, Friends of the Montgomery Canal chairman, said: “So many people come back to the Montgomery Canal Triathlon year after year because it is such a friendly event.

“It is an endurance event rather than a race and many people take much of the day to complete it, some over eight hours. Others, however, want to better their previous times and arrive at the finish just over three hours from the start.

“The triathlon raises funds for the restoration and it is a great advertisement for the area too. It takes many months for our volunteer team to set up the event and we call on 100 supporters who enjoy it as much as those taking part.

“We are always glad of more help and anyone who would like to support the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and the triathlon can contact us through our website www.TheMontgomeryCanal.org.uk.”

Michael Limbrey, Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust chairman, said: “It has been great to see so many people enjoying the canal again this year. The restored Montgomery Canal is a unique cross-border linear attraction for wildlife, history and recreation and well-being.

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“Restoration concentrates on the canal’s ecology and history. At the same time, bridge improvements will make road crossings safer for walkers and cyclists and coming months will see more works under the UK Government Levelling-Up Fund.

“Two blocked bridges near Carreghofa will be rebuilt and new nature reserves will be created to enhance the canal’s ecology. In Shropshire, the new Schoolhouse Bridge, the finish for this year’s triathlon, has been a project led by canal volunteers to remove the final highway obstruction in the county.

“Volunteers are now working to restore the channel to the bridge, assisted by our Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal which is always glad to receive donations at https://localgiving.org/appeal/restorethemontgomerycanal/ .

“So many places along the revived Montgomery Canal are worth a visit. It has been fun to show them to this year’s triathlon entrants and we hope they will come back to join us again next year.”

The organisers thanked Montgomery Waters, Morrisons and Tesco who donated refreshments, volunteers from Welshpool Towpath Taskforce, TRAMPS, who helped prepare for the event and Hire a Canoe of Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, who provided canoes for many of the entrants for the first time.