Bookings are coming in rapidly for this year’s Montgomery Canal Triathlon on Saturday 18th May.  Last year nearly 250 entrants joined this popular event, most tackling all three sections – by bicycle, on foot and in a canoe.  The closing date for entries is 4th May and with 180 places already taken, many returning after having taken part before, the organisers are wondering whether the event will be fully booked before then.

The Friends of the Montgomery Canal have published the results of a survey of those who joined last year’s event. The survey shows how popular the Triathlon is and its value to the local community.

Participants reported a very high level of enjoyment with 87% giving a score of five on a scale of 1 to 5. This was matched by the high number who said that they would come to the event again, a result borne out by the number of repeat entries received for this year’s event.

The survey showed that while most participants were relatively local, some lived as far away as East Anglia, the South West, and the South East and London, and had therefore travelled a considerable distance to take part. More than half were in the 41-60 age bracket, with slightly more than 10% being over 60. The split between men and women was relatively balanced.

The survey also showed that while some visiting participants had stayed with family or friends, others had paid for accommodation. While taking part in the event was the main reason for the visit, a significant number did take the opportunity to visit other places of interest in the area and, while people who came to the event did not stay long, they brought real value to the local economy.

Christine Palin, Chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, said “The Triathlon is a very popular Montgomery Canal event and this survey underlines what we already knew from chatting to people who take part. We know they enjoy the event and like visiting the area and that they often bring friends or family when they return.

“All this underlines the value of the Montgomery Canal to our area. It’s a lovely canal and people across the country know about our events and the continuing restoration.

“There is still room to join this year’s Triathlon for one, two or all three sections, though we may have to limit numbers to ensure the safety and enjoyment of those who take part, and to ensure the event is manageable for the organisers – so book early! We are always glad too of help from volunteers who come to steward the event, particularly at road crossings or lock portages.

“We are looking forward to another great event this year!”

The Montgomery Canal Triathlon starts at Newtown: participants cycle 17 miles to Pool Quay, north of Welshpool, then walk or run 11 miles to Morton, south of Oswestry, finishing with 7 miles in canoes to the Weston Arm, near the junction with the Llangollen Canal.