The leaves are falling as the season turns and daylight is getting sparse. Cooler air is settling in among Virginia’s water, and the James River is getting colder. November is a beautiful month to spend time in Richmond’s urban park system, and we are excited to celebrate the second annual King of the James! King of the James is a triathlon highlighting the mountain sports found in the city’s core, with trail running, mountain biking, and whitewater kayaking
The secret has been uncovered for some time now regarding the gem Richmond is for outdoor enthusiasts, with its miles of singletrack and some damn good whitewater… but sometimes we forget how accessible it is to indulge for a ride or paddle in the park on a daily basis. Being able to have a number of mountain sports in your backyard is a rarity; but here in Richmond, we have it all day, everyday and can literally play outside 365 days a year.
King of the James is the perfect way to test your ability in the mountains all while staying close to home here in the city. The tour of Richmond’s finest begins by tackling an awesome trail run in Forest Hill Park, followed by a ride on the backbone of the city’s mountain bike scene via the Buttermilk Trail and Northbank Trail, and culminating with a paddle down Richmond’s notorious whitewater on the James River. Although each individual leg of King of the James is not an endurance feat, linking all three back-to-back will get even the most seasoned athletes’ heart pumping.
In 2014, Adam Tremper was crowned King and has been one of the events larger-than-life advocates.
“The King of the James is special because it encompasses some of the best things about Richmond into one event, competitive and friendly at the same time,” Tremper said.
Although there is a healthy dose of trash talking among the competitive outdoorsmen and women, King of the James stresses that we are all in it together. If you see someone in need, stop and help. The event also demands respect by all participants to be mindful of the trail users who are just out enjoying our beautiful oasis by moving aside and practicing park etiquette. “King of the James has it all! Can’t wait to make a run at the throne again this year,” Tremper added.
Sunday is going to be a good day. If you’re looking to watch some of the event, come out and join us! Some key locations to spend time in the park and witness King of the James are at the Reedy Creek crossing on the trail in Forest Hill Park, just downstream of Crossroads Coffee and Beer. The downhill at Texas Beach on the Northbank trail and Hollywood or Pipeline Rapids on the James River.
There can only be one – King of the James!
‘King of the James’ is an individual, multi-sport event. It can be raced as an individual or a three-person team, with each team member choosing a leg — run, bike or paddle. Individuals must be able to complete the course by possessing the skills of an EXPERIENCED trail runner, EXPERIENCED mountain biker, and EXPERIENCED whitewater kayaker. This is an extremely difficult course, with many hazards, and 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. 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’.