Friends of the Montgomery Canal

Successful Montgomery Canal Triathlon

Bikes, Boats 'n' Boots – 11 May 2013

The organisers are delighted with the success of the Montgomery Canal Triathlon, Bikes, Boats 'n' Boots, held on 11 May 2013.

The event was held for a second year after the enthusiastic response to last year's Triathlon. With 140 taking part, most entrants completed all three sections of the event, covering the whole 35-mile route of the canal by starting from Newtown on bicycles, changing to canoes in Welshpool and finishing by walking from Llanymynech to Welsh Frankton.

The Triathlon was organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and supported by the Canal & River Trust, Shropshire Paddlesport and the Shrewsbury, District and North Wales branch of the Inland Waterways Association. The event received assistance from Welshpool Town Council, Powys Tourism and Shropshire Council (through the St Oswald and Llanymynech Local Joint Committee).

Tesco in Welshpool made a generous donation of bottled water for people taking part and food and drink were provided at Llanymynech by members of the Duchess-Countess project, and at Queens Head by Shropshire Paddlesport.

Cllr Val Howard, Mayor of Newtown, started the event on the Severn Way at Newtown at 9 o’clock and at Welshpool the Mayor, Cllr John Meredith, greeted entrants.

  Some of which were in fancy dress.

The first participants arrived at Frankton Locks to complete the event in mid-afternoon, some completing the event in under six hours.

Notable entrants were John Griffiths AM, Welsh Minister for Culture and Sport, who at the end presented commemorative medallions to those who had taken part, and Andrew Stumpf, Head of Wales for Glandŵr Cymru/Canal & River Trust. Others taking part came from as far afield as Sheffield and South Wales.

The youngest entrant, Ben Homewood, aged 11, a member of Shropshire Paddlesport at Queen’s Head, completed the whole Triathlon in 8¾ hours with the support of his family and raised £800 in sponsorship. Other participants were sponsored too, and others – taking the event less seriously – entered in fancy dress.

As before, entrants who completed any section received a commemorative medallion of local slate, printed in gold for entrants who completed all three sections, silver for those who completed two, and bronze if only one section was completed. Details of entrants’ times are published on the Montgomery Canal website,

Chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal Christine Palin said, “At the end of last year's Triathlon we were surprised and delighted that people were asking us to run it again. This year too we have received many messages of thanks and congratulations, which underlines how the Triathlon is becoming a fixture in the local timetable as an event which promotes the canal and the border area.

“So many people joined the event that the wharf at Llanymynech was covered with canoes and you could hardly see any grass!  

Despite some heavy showers through the day, everyone carried on and they were still smiling at the end.

Even a swan joined in at Llanymynech to escort a coracle entrant.

“We were very grateful for the help of 60 marshals who made the event possible, including Friends of the Montgomery Canal and some from the Canal and River Trust, as well as for the preparation beforehand by staff and volunteers of the Canal & River Trust who worked with our members to clear the canal and make the canoe section easier. Lastly we are very grateful for last-minute help from Red Ridge Activity Centre at Cefn Coch who provided additional canoes so that we did not have to disappoint some later entrants.

“The Triathlon is one of the finalists in this year’s Waterways Renaissance Awards and we look forward to the announcement of the winner at the awards ceremony in Birmingham on 23 May.

“The extent of support for our Triathlon shows how much interest there is in the future of the Montgomery Canal, not just in our area, but further away as well. We believe that the canal is a great asset for residents and visitors, whether they come by boat from other parts of the national waterway network, or cycle, walk and canoe the lengths that bigger boats can’t reach yet.”



Peter & Judith Richards Canal House, Morton, Oswestry SY10 8BQ Tel: 01691 831455