Legend claims that local resident Archibald "Bear" Tolley spent much of his life in the 1800s hunting bear throughout the ridges and hollers around Buchanan. Explore some of Bear's stomping ground as you kayak, run, and mountain bike a "mostly trail" triathlon that showcases the fall beauty and challenging terrain of Botetourt County. 


Starting in the Buchanan Town Park, the 23 mile course will begin with a 6 mile kayak on the beautiful James River, featuring numerous Class I and II rapids.  After a quick transition to trail shoes, you will have one mile of flat road to get warmed up, then you will hit the trail for a 5 mile section that will take you up and over steep and rocky Cove Mountain to the Bearwallow Gap trail head.  There will be no rest for the weary as you climb on your mountain bike for the final 12 mile stage of fire road, single track, and paved road back to the finish at the Buchanan Town Park. This section includes the SWEET 5 mile long Mineshaft trail.


There are no time cut-offs and the course is a great one if you are new to a "trail tri." (see note below)


***Note: both the running and mountain biking portions of the Bearwallow Breakdown are rocky and root-filled, with steep, technical descents. Participants should have trail experience! The river portion contains several Class II rapids and is a bit more challenging than the Buchanan Tri paddle.  Click here for a river map (see Map 4).  The race will be held rain or shine.  The paddling portion will be omitted in the unlikely event of high water (6 ft or over) making this event a duathlon.  Current river levels can be viewed here.


While you are training, be sure to check out these 10 Epic Blue Ridge Rides, including Mineshaft! 


Registration: $60 until 7/1, $70 after 7/1 and until 9/1; $80 after 9/1


Registration includes fully stocked aid stations, a post-race meal, and a super-cool hat. Kayak rentals are available from Twin River Outfitter (540) 254-8012 at a special race day rate.


​Compete for the crown of King/Queen of Buchanan!  Race in the Buchanan Tri on September 15 and get points toward the highly coveted  "crown."  

Bearwallow Breakdown


(540) 797-0217

Muddy Squirrel

October 7, 2018 -- 9 a.m. start 

Tri King/Tri Queen of Buchanan -- Race #2