This Great Charity Triathlon normally takes part early may, but due to Covid it has been put back to September, Unfortunately this year it was the same weekend as Shrewsbury, with most BQA members entered in SYTris Quad we didn’t have any takers.
However our BQA website host and Deva Diva Quadrathlete ‘Nicola Perrins’ and her husband ‘Mike Waring’ flew the flag for us, and may I say in fine style too! A big thanks to Mike for his Race Report below:
Montgomery Canal Triathlon 4/9/21
A fun event in aid of the restoration of the canal, starting in Newtown in Wales and ending across the border in Shropshire. Shortened for this year due to bridge restoration works, it consisted of a 12 mile MTB, a 5.5 mile kayak and a 9.5 mile run. Due to Covid it was also moved from May to September with a reduced number of entries of about 120. It is a great friendly event with families taking part along with a few serious people at the front.
From the start it became apparent the first wave of us were really going for it, the MTB leg being very fast. Unfortunately I made a rookie mistake at one of the bridges which ended up with me leading the 2nd rider into someone’s driveway, allowing the 3rd rider to pass us! Working together we managed to catch him, then I took the lead from then on and was first to arrive at our waiting kayaks.
Although much hard work had been done by volunteers to clear the canal of weed, due to the time of year there were still large sections of it, which felt like paddling through treacle! It was tough going with the weed dragging on my rudder but lucky it eventually opened to clearer water. Being first through, apart from clearing some weeds, I had the privilege of alerting a few families of swans that we were coming through – they weren’t that impressed! The marshals that greeted us, on the other hand, where very friendly and welcoming. Those at the locks even helping carry the kayaks for us!
The final run section followed unrestored parts of the canal through beautiful countryside, where a lot of preparation had been made cutting back foliage for us to pass. I managed to reach the finish first, with the next two finishers just minutes behind. A pleasant surprise was being handed a bottle of Cava for my efforts! This year was my first time taking part, previously supporting my partner Nicola who took part in 2019 (she took a more leisurely pace this time) we both thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to be back next year.
The event was brilliantly organised and the marshalling of the whole course was fantastic, with nearly the same number of marshals as there were competitors! All finishers agreed they preferred the new format with the run at the end instead of the kayak as in previous years.
It was especially nice to see real progress being made with the restoration of the canal from previous donations and also to see competitors offering help for future volunteer work.