Montgomery Canal Triathlon – An Endurance Challenge

Bikes, Boats 'n' Boots”

2 June 2012

Volunteers restoring the Montgomery Canal are launching an ambitious new event on the canal this year.The Montgomery Canal Triathlon, "Bikes, Boats 'n' Boots", on 2 June challenges participants to cycle, canoe and hike the 35 mile length of the canal in one day.

Starting in Newtown, the original destination of the canal, entrants will cycle to Welshpool. While the towpath is complete through this length, much of it having been resurfaced to a high standard in recent years, the first part of the canal is filled in. The canal is in water from Freestone Lock, passing eight more locks on the way to Welshpool.

For canoes the Triathlon starts at Welshpool, with entrants tackling the eleven miles to the Welsh border at Llanymynech. To start with the course is over the first lengths of the canal to be restored: in Welshpool itself, and north from Gallowstree Bridge to Arddleen. The final five miles are in water but are obstructed by a number of dropped road bridges.

The last section of Triathlon is over the border in Shropshire, from Llanymynech to Welsh Frankton. Walkers start along the short length used by the Duchess-Countess Trust who run the George Watson Buck trip-boat, but then the canal is dry through Pant to Crickheath. From Crickheath walkers will see evidence of the latest work by volunteers of Shropshire Union Canal Society and Waterway Recovery Group who have been working over the last few years to reopen the canal to Crickheath wharf. From Redwith the canal is fully restored, though at the moment boats cannot proceed beyond Gronwen Wharf because there is nowhere for them to turn.

The event is organised in support of the Maesbury Canal Festival on 1-2 September 2012.

Chairing the organising committee, Judith Richards said, “For over twenty-five years, we have welcomed small boats and canoes to the Dinghy Dawdle, tackling the challenges of a length of the Montgomery Canal. This year will be different, and we shall be covering the whole of the canal, on cycles, in canoes and on foot.

“Already we are delighted with the interest we are receiving. We are hoping the event will be supported by a wide range of organisations and individuals from the local area and further afield, tackling one or more sections of the Montgomery Canal Triathlon.

“We do have to emphasise that this is not a race: the canal and its towpath were built two hundred years ago for the leisurely progress of a horse pulling a boat, and we shall be taking care to ensure that entrants start in stages.

“We are running the event to support the Maesbury Canal Festival on 1st and 2nd September. This will be the third festival at Canal Central: our events in 2008 and 2010 were enjoyed by many, with boats, stalls and entertainers coming from near and far, and we have every reason to believe that this year's Festival will be as great a success.

“The Montgomery Canal means so much to our area. Already its towpath is well-used by walkers, canoeists make regular use of the canal, anglers fish where the water is stocked and boaters visit Maesbury from far and wide. The restored canal will build on this and be a real asset for the area and its visitors.”

All entrants who complete a section will receive a commemorative medallion made from local slate. There will be special medallions printed in gold for entrants who complete all three sections, in silver for those who complete two, and bronze where only one section is completed.

The Montgomery Canal Triathlon Challenge is organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and the Shrewsbury, District and North Wales branch of the Inland Waterways Association, and is supported by British Waterways (soon to become Canal & River Trust).

Details of sponsorship, entry details and bookings for the event can be obtained from --
Peter & Judith Richards
Canal House, Morton, Oswestry SY10 8BQ Telephone 01691 831455 email

Event information, entry form and poster see below: –

Bikes – Bicycle Section

Bicycles will start on the Severn Way in Newtown, SY16 2HV from 9.00am. Triathlon entrants undertaking all 3 sections will leave first. Storage for bicycles will be available at Welshpool.

The route is along the towpath of the Montgomery Canal. The surface varies from surfaced cycleway to grass. There are three road crossings for cyclists, which will be controlled by marshals.

Boats – Canoe Section

Canoes and other portable craft will start at Welshpool Town Wharf, SY21 7JA from 10.30am. There will be parking for cars and trailers at Llanymynech, SY22 6HB, with transport back to Welshpool before the start.

Refreshments will be available on completing the section at Llanymynech.

There are three road crossings for canoeists, which will be controlled by marshals.

and Boots – Walk Section

The walk will start from the Stables at Llanymynech, from 2.30pm. Refreshments will be available at Llanymynech and Shropshire Paddlesport at Queens Head will be open for tea.

The walking section is generally flat but some lengths are unsuitable for wheelchairs. There are several fixed wooden stiles, tree roots and possible livestock on the path.

Event End

The walk will end at Frankton Locks by 6.30pm. There will be transport back to Paddlesports at Queens Head for the presentation of awards.

Whole Event

First Aiders will be available along the route.

Refreshments and toilets will be available at Welshpool Wharf, Burgedin Locks, Llanymynech Stables and Paddlesport at Queens Head.

Entry Classes:-

Complete Triathlon

A Individuals completing all 3 sections

B Teams completing all 3 sections

One section only

C Cycling from Newtown to Welshpool

D Canoeing from Welshpool to Llanymynech

E Walking from Llanymynech to Welsh Frankton

Entry Fees:-

Complete Triathlon, class A,B

Adults £25.00

Juniors (includes anyone in full time education) £12.50

One section or two sections, class C,D or E

Adults £10.00 per section

Juniors £ 5.00 per section

Payments should be made to ‘The Friends of the Montgomery Canal’.

CLICK HERE  for a leaflet/entry form in printable pdf format.

Further details on a poster are also available to print if you CLICK HERE .

Triathlon Organisers: –

Friends of the Montgomery Canal

The Friends of the Montgomery Canal is the membership section of Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust (Charity No 510448).

Inland Waterways Association – Shrewsbury, District and North Wales branch

The Inland Waterways Association has campaigned for over sixty years for the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and sensitive development of Britain's canals and river navigations. It believes that canals and rivers should be used for commercial and leisure boating and many other activities, including education, canoeing, angling and towpath walking. It seeks to preserve the ecological, heritage and architectural aspects of the country’s inland waterways for all. The Association also supplies voluntary labour through its subsidiary Waterway Recovery Group, recently at work on the Montgomery Canal at Crickheath. (Charity No. 212342)

Participating Organisations: –

Duchess-Countess Project

Shropshire Paddlesport

Maesbury Canal Festival 2012 ( ) is supported by :–

Friends of the Montgomery Canal (above)

Inland Waterways Association, Shrewsbury, District and North Wales branch (above)

Canal Central.

Canal Central is located beside the Montgomery Canal at Maesbury Marsh and is a local village shop and tearoom with broadplace internet access and accommodation.

British Waterways

Shropshire Council

The Shropshire Union Fly Boat Project

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