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Additional race information can be found at https://kingofthejames.com/.
The King is back once again! The King has returned ready to share his spoils and take-on those that challenge his reign. Join us for ‘King of the James’ Adventure Triathlon. This event will traverse the James River’s mountain-esque terrain through the city of Richmond.
Individuals and teams will battle it out as they mountain bike Buttermilk, run the Forest Hill Trail loop and North Bank Trails, and paddle the urban whitewater found deep in the heart of the city’s fall line. This race isn’t for the faint of heart, and there can only be one king of the James. A solo participant must be able to complete the course by possessing the skills of an EXPERIENCED trail runner, EXPERIENCED mountain biker, and EXPERIENCED whitewater kayaker and possess all of the necessary equipment and safety gear.
We recognize that having the skill set to participate in all three disciplines is extremely challenging therefore ‘King of the James’ will accept teams banding together in order to complete the race. The event can be done as a Solo, Solo with Raft support or as a Relay Team or Raft Team. If your interest is to participate as an individual on a team, you must put together your own team. Each participant must identify their team by a team name on the registration form.
As you consider if this is the race for you, let me say again, this is an extremely difficult course, with many hazards, it requires stamina as well as in-depth knowledge of all three sports. The course is subject to a variety of changing variables associated with being held in an ever-changing outdoor environment. Please take this into consideration. The use of recreational kayaks is not permitted. If there is any question on your part, about completing any of the disciplines, please do not attempt ‘King of the James’. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the difficulty of the ‘King of the James’.
Due to an unprecedented high water event. The in person King of the James race scheduled for 11/13/20 has been canceled. The James crested at 18.5 feet Friday on Friday the 13th, 2020 (that is not a joke) . That's the highest level we have seen in 24 years. Portions of Riverside Drive, Belle Isle, and the Pony Pasture Parking lot were all underwater. The trails, access roads and park infrastructure were all a pretty substantial mess .
Obviously, this is not something that we could have expected. If 2020 has taught us nothing, it's a plan for the worst and expect even worse… Our all-volunteer team of organizers has been weighing the options for several days now, and we just don't feel comfortable putting the event on with so many variables out there. So, it is with a great deal of sadness (and a good bit of frustration) that we are canceled the in-person event.
With the largest registration that we have ever had, and more support than we have ever received, we still want to make the 2020 King of the James a reality. We have decided to shift gears a bit and switch to a virtual race. When the trails dry up after this rain event, you have until mid December to record your time and post it to Runsignup. We will be crowning a King and have some great prizes for our winners. We will send out another email with more information about the virtual race.
Finish and Awards – In an effort to minimize the crowd, there will be no award ceremony or after party this year. Times will be posted on JROC.NET as soon as we can get them together. Race organizers will notify the winners and coordinate getting them awards and prizes.
1.) Mountain Bike – Buttermilk & North Bank – Clockwise
A Le Mans-style start will kick off this years event. When the flag drops, riders will run across the parking lot to their bikes jump on and make their way down to Forest Hill Lake. After a quick lap around the lake, riders will ride through the Reedy Creek culverts under Riverside Drive to pick up the Buttermilk Trail. Take a left to head west on the trail. The mountain bike leg of the ‘King of the James’ is slightly confusing and some pre-race knowledge of the course is very important. There is a ton of information at the RVA MORE SITE LOCATED HERE. We are including the ‘normal’ Buttermilk Trail west of the Reedy Creek Parking Lot as the beginning section of single track. At the end of the Buttermilk Trail, you then cross the Nickel Bridge (suggested route using sidewalk) to access the North Bank Trail heading east. As you reach the gravel road at the end of the North Bank Trail, take the quick up-hill sidewalk towards the Belvedere Bridge. ‘King of the James’ will be using the Belvedere Bridge to make the 2nd James River crossing on mountain bike where you will re-access the Buttermilk Trail. Bomb down the last section Buttermilk and hang a left back under under River Side Drive. Using the narrow concrete bridge over Reedy Creek, make your way up the steep climb to Forest hill Park. BE CAREFUL OF CARS!
2) Trail Run – Forest Hill Loop – Counter Clockwise
Leaving the Forest Hill staging area on foot, racers run counter clockwise through Forest Hill Park. Continue on the Forest Hill Trail as it loops around park. For more information on this trail, check out the RVA MORE Forest Hill Park Trail site for more information. As you exit Forest Hill Park at Riverside Drive, cross under the road one more time, using the culverts. Continue running in the creek and under the railroad tracks using a second set of culverts. Hop out of the creek before you run into the James. Make your way to the boats staged at Reedy Creek Meadow.
3.) Whitewater Kayak – Falls of the James River – Straight Down the Middle
***WHITEWATER BOATS ONLY. NO SEA KAYAKS, WILDWATER BOATS OR RECREATION KAYAKS. IF YOUR BOAT IS OVER 4 METERS AND/OR HAS A KEEL, YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED***
At this point, you have made it through the mountain bike and trail run portion of the ‘King of the James’. You’re tired. You’re exhausted. Now you will have to descend the James River and it’s many difficult rapids. If at this part of the race you are too tired, please consider not paddling.
For those still continuing, ‘King of the James’ will use these rapids as part of the event. 1st Break, Approach, Corner, Hollywood, Hollywood Shoals, X’s, 2nd Break (ferry towards Pipeline), Pipeline. After Pipeline, paddle towards 14th Street Whitewater Take Out (THANKS RICHMONDOUTSIDE.COM). You finish when your boat hits the steps at the take-out.
Relax and sit back. Take a breather. You just finished the ‘King of the James’. We will all gather here, safe & sound, at the 14th Street Take Out and make sure all participants have finished. Shuttles will be provided one van load at a time back to Forest Hill Park where the bikes are already waiting. No need to go down to Reedy Creek for anything All of your gear is at Forest Hill.
***REMEMBER! YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AT THE ‘KING OF THE JAMES’. IF YOU SEE ANOTHER IN NEED OF HELP, PLEASE HELP!!!***
The James River Park will be the playground for the King of the James Adventure Triathlon 2019. Individuals and teams will battle it out as they mountain bike Buttermilk and North Bank Trails, run the Forest Hill Trail loop, and paddle the urban whitewater found deep in the heart of the city’s fall line. The race will begin and transition in Forest Hill Park.
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