More than 130 people took part in an epic 27-mile endurance event to raise money for the Montgomery Canal restoration project.

People from as far as Australia and France cycled, canoed, walked and ran 27 miles as part of the Montgomery Canal Triathlon on Saturday.

This year’s event raised £2,000 which will contribute to the canal’s restoration fund which has received £18,000 in donations since 2018.

The triathlon involved 12 miles of cycling from Newtown to Belan Lock, 5.5 miles of canoeing to Crowther Hall then a 9.5 mile walk or run to the Schoolhouse Bridge.

The first participant to cross the finishing line and receive a bottle of Prosecco was Jean Ashley, from Malpas, near Wrexham.

Chris Palin, chair of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, said it had been "absolutely fabulous" to hold a "normal" triathlon for the first time in three years.


"Events like these are so vital for the restoration of the canal. The whole event is going from strength to strength.

"I have to take my hat off to the volunteers because we have had over 100 involved. Without them we wouldn’t be able to hold the event. It's fabulous."

She added: "“The first participant finished in under three hours but others were arriving over 4 hours later. But that doesn’t matter, because the Triathlon attracts groups of family or friends as much as people who are more seriously athletic.

“There is a serious side to the Triathlon: we want people to learn about the Montgomery Canal and the area it runs through, and to see what has been achieved and what still has to be done to take the restoration forward."

Helen Davies, from Abermule, said she took part in the triathlon because "it’s just a lovely event and it’s nice to support the Canal Trust" while her friend Christine Marshall-Smart, from Adfa, added that she will "definitely" return next year.

Kirsty North, from Leicester, said: “I’ve got to say it’s the prettiest event I’ve ever done. Everybody has been really friendly as well. And the canoeing was a bit of a hoot!”

Newtown Mayor Richard Williams, started the triathlon outside the almost-finished riverside venue, said it was a "fantastic" event that raises awareness for the town and Montgomeryshire.

"The canal has been awarded money to be restored to a certain point, £15 million, that’s a fantastic achievement and we’re working hard on the next phase, phase four, which is to get the canal back to Newtown which will be a fantastic achievement and the town council is very committed to financially and politically making that happen. We’ve seen the benefits of canal regeneration."

Entrants were presented with a locally-made polished slate medallion, coloured gold if all three sections were completed, with silver and bronze coloured medallions for two or one section.