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Gauge Height: 8.09'
Flow: 17600 cfps

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Who Will Be Crowned ‘King of the James?’

Andy Thompson

@richmondoutside
October 15, 2018 2:45pm
The James River Outdoor Coalition is once again holding its annual competition to determine the Kings and Queens of the James. What is this all about, you ask? The fourth annual ‘King of the James’ is an  adventure triathlon on Sunday, November 11th. 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 the Richmond’s fall line. In the end, as they say: “There can only be one King of the James.”
This year race organizers are changing it up a bit, due to the size and scale of the race. The race will begin at the Forest Hill Park shelter immediately in front of you when you enter the park from New Kent Ave. Gear will need to be staged in two separate areas. Mountain bikes will be staged in the grassy area just next to the pavilion. Boats and paddling gear need to be dropped off down at Reedy Creek.
The Race: A Le Mans-style start will kick off this year’s event. When the flag drops, riders will  run across the parking lot to their bikes, and make their way down to Forest Hill Park Lake.

The Forest Hill Park trails will feature prominently in the King of the James. Credit: Phil Riggan

1.) Mountain Bike – Buttermilk & North Bank – Clockwise ~ 10 Miles

After a quick lap around the lake, riders will ride through the Reedy Creek culverts under Riverside Drive to pick up the Buttermilk Trail. After completing the downtown loop, climb back up to Forest Hill Pavilion using the narrow concrete bridge over Reedy Creek.
2) Trail Run – Forest Hill Loop – Counter Clockwise ~ 3 miles
Run  through Forest Hill Park counter clock wise. 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.
3.)  Whitewater Kayak – Falls of the James River – Straight Down the Middle ~ 2.5 miles
Get in your boat and start paddling towards the 14th Street Whitewater Take Out.  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
The King of the James was created to help support the James River Park. All of the money raised from this event will go to the James River Outdoor Coalition, an all volunteer organization that was formed in 1997 to provide resources to complete improvements in and around the James River Park System and to educate and advise on issues pertaining to the park. If you, or an organization that you are part of, is interested in supporting the King of the James, we have several options for giving.  JROC is a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization and all donations are tax deductible.

2017 Winners 

King – Michael Wilson 01:28.2
Queen – Penelope Davenport 01:45.5
Team – Captain Crunk 01:17.2
2015 Winners
King – Trevor Sayler  1:20:14
Queen – Jennie Belt  1:28:06
Team – Pup N Suds 1:16:25
2014 Winners
King – Adam Tremper  1:24:48
Queen – Jennie Belt  1:45:53
Team – The Ringers 1:22:52

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?


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