Issue date: 12 October 2016
The Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation hosted a second waterways triathlon on 25th September when 40 participants canoed, cycled and ran their choice of a 30km or 50km route through the Essex countryside. The event was organised by The Inland Waterways Association, a national charity whose subsidiary, Essex Waterways Ltd, runs the navigation.
The navigation provided the perfect setting for this event with participants and spectators alike gathering at Hoe Mill Bridge at Ulting near Maldon for the start. The first stage was 10km (7km for the shorter route) on the water, with most participants using canoes and kayaks although a few chose paddleboards. Next came the cycling, with a 15km circular route through the scenic Essex countryside (completed twice for those doing the longer course). The last leg of the route was running 10km (5km for the shorter route) across fields and footpaths with the last section along the towpath back to Hoe Mill.
The Waterways Triathlon not only provided a new and different kind of challenge but also enabled many entrants to experience their local area in a new way. Local firemen were among the participants, who all finished within the 8 hour time limit. The fastest time for the 50km route was 3 hours and 50 minutes and 2 hours 49 minutes for the 30km route. Over 20 volunteers helped run the event on the day, including marshalling, signing people in, and cooking for the celebratory barbecue back at Hoe Mill at the end of the day.
Fundraising Officer for The Inland Waterways Association, Sarah Frayne said "This event is a great way to get people to enjoy all that the Chelmer & Blackwater has to offer whilst raising money to maintain it for the future, ensuring it continues as a fantastic local asset’’.
Photo caption - “Competitors and spectators gather at Hoe Mill Bridge on the Chelmer & Blackwater for the start of this year’s IWA Waterways Triathlon. The event aims to connect local communities with the navigation, managed by IWA subsidiary Essex Waterways Ltd, and raise funds towards its upkeep." Photo by Stephanie Pay.
Higher resolution versions and alternative images available on request.
For further information please contact Alison Smedley, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 07779 090915.
Notes for Editors
Essex Waterways Ltd/Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
The 14 mile Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation runs from Springfield Basin in Chelmsford to Heybridge Basin, Maldon. It was opened in 1797 as a river navigation and its use enabled Chelmsford to change from an agricultural town to an industrial centre. It is designated as a Conservation Area throughout its length and its original locks and bridges are listed structures. It was in commercial use until 1972 and operated by the original Navigation Company. Essex Waterways took responsibility for the Navigation in 2005 in order to prevent its closure. It is now a recreational waterway forming a linear 'country park' through attractive Essex countryside.
Essex Waterways Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Inland Waterways Association, a registered charity which leads campaigns to conserve, maintain and restore Britain’s network of canal and river waterways. All monies raised by Essex Waterways are spent on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.
The Inland Waterways Association
IWA is The Inland Waterways Association, a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of canals and rivers. IWA is a national organisation with a network of volunteers and branches who deploy their expertise and knowledge to work constructively with navigation authorities, government and other organisations. The Association also provides practical and technical support to restoration projects through its expert Waterway Recovery Group.
IWA - Keeping our waterways alive.
Photo: Competitors and spectators gather at Hoe Mill Bridge on the Chelmer & Blackwater for the start of this year’s IWA Waterways Triathlon. The event aims to connect local communities with the navigation, managed by IWA subsidiary Essex Waterways Ltd, and raise funds towards its upkeep. Photo by Stephanie Pay.