This year marks the 7th annual ‘King of the James’ adventure triathlon in Downtown Richmond, Virginia. On Sunday, November 14th, individuals and teams will battle it out as they run the Forest Hill Trail loop, mountain bike Buttermilk and North Bank Trails, and paddle the urban whitewater found deep in the heart of Richmond’s fall line. This unique urban adventure triathlon has quickly become a tradition within the Richmond outdoor community. It is a celebration of not only the James River Park System, but also the community of people that make Richmond such a great place to live and play. Ultimately, raising needed funds for the James River Park is the goal of this event.
The King of the James is not for the faint of heart. Each leg of the race is demanding and requires advanced technical skills in mountain biking, trail running, and whitewater paddling. The race can be completed solo or as a team. Teams of 2-3 can choose a portion of the race they would like to complete and relay the event. When the flag drops, a Le Mans-style start kicks off the event. Riders run to their bikes and take off on a 10 mile loop that winds its way around the banks of the James River. After completing the mountain bike section, racers transition to a 4 mile technical trail-run through Forest Hill Park that eventually leads to the put-in of the river. Finally, with worn out legs, competitors hop into boats and paddle to the finish line 2.5 miles downstream through the class III/IV whitewater of the Lower James River. The first person to hit the steps at the 14th street take out will be crowned the King or Queen of the James.