100-mile Paddle Race Coming to Central Virginia
A new endurance race is coming to Virginia, and it promises to be quite a challenge! The James River Rundown will be one of the longest paddling races in the U.S., covering 100 miles of the scenic James River over a two-day period.
Competitors will traverse the river in kayaks, canoes and maybe even a paddleboard or two either as solo paddlers or in teams. There are no restrictions on what they paddle, just as long as there is no motor, sail, or anchored oar configuration.
The starting point is James River State Park in Gladstone, VA, with winners likely paddling through the night to the finish near Robious Landing in Western Richmond. Most paddlers, however, will camp at one of the designated checkpoints along the way, as just finishing in under the 40-hour time limit will be cause for
“We want this race to appeal to a wide variety of paddlers and be a fun event for everyone. Safety is a priority, so there will be plenty of checkpoints, camping spots and safety boats along the course,” said Bill Street, CEO of the James River Association.
The race dates of June 20-21, 2014 correspond with the most amount of daylight of the year, giving paddlers ample time to paddle without having to do so in the dark. The course is on a stretch of the James River that doesn’t have any dams, portages or tough rapids. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, however. In early stages,
racers will fight winding river, low water levels with occasional hang-ups and rocks ready to scrape and stop their craft. The second half is smoother but by then the fatigue, heat, and muscle pain will be the biggest foe.
Finishing will cure all, though, and with Hardywood Park Craft Brewery serving at the finish line party, the celebration will come easy after a few tough days on the river.
“The real goal of this race is to create a fun challenge and spread an appreciation for the river and the organization that protects and promotes it. Finishing a race like creates a sense of pride and camaraderie along with a real connection to the river,” said Kevin Odberg, Race Committee Chair.
For more information or to sign up to race or volunteer, visit www.jamesriverrundown.org.