Posted on 16/04/2019
Canals are great places for keeping fit. Here you can jog, cycle or take part in water sports such as kayaking or paddleboarding. If you love running, and are up for a challenge, you could even take on the epic 130-mile Leeds & Liverpool Canal Race in August, a non-stop race from Old Hall Street in Liverpool to Office Lock in Leeds. But if that’s a bit far, or you prefer to mix things up a bit, why not try the Montgomery Canal Triathlon? This fun event allows you to cycle, kayak and run in a single race – or if you are not so hot on a bike or in the water, you can just choose the single element that best suits your fitness level.
The Montgomery Canal Triathlon covers 35 miles in total, and is divided into three sections: a 17-mile cycle from Newtown past Welshpool to Pool Quay; an 11-mile walk/jog from Pool Quay to Morton; and a 7-mile canoe from Morton to the Weston Arm, Lower Frankton. The 2019 race takes place on May 19 and is suitable for all standards. The cycling section is along cycleway-standard towpath. The walking section is generally flat but some lengths are unsuitable for wheelchairs, with some tree roots, and the canoes have to be carried around four locks – but help is available. First Aiders will also be on duty throughout the event. Light refreshments and toilet facilities are available at the end of each section. Every entrant who completes a section gets a commemorative medallion made from local slate. The event has been organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, who have been essential to ongoing restoration work.
If you’re not up for a run, why not visit another day? The route the race follows will give you a chance to see the work achieved by the Friends along the glorious ‘Monty’, one of the most beautiful canals on the network. This 33-mile stretch of water has Green Flag status and parts of it have been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest, where otters and water voles thrive along with a variety of aquatic plants including floating water plantain and grass-wrack pondweed. The canal was constructed to carry limestone from quarries around Llanymynech to kilns located along the canalside, some of which are still standing. Coal was transported along the canal to heat the lime, turning it into quicklime, which is used in agriculture. The triathlon covers the entire length of the canal, from Newtown to Frankton, where it connects to the Llangollen Canal.
The closing date for entries to the Montgomery Canal Triathlon is 4 May, and you can find out more here. Or challenge yourself to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Race, this August. For a more casual day out along the Montgomery Canal, have a look at our website.
Canal & River Trust