​​Experience the James River as you run, ride, and paddle your way through this scenic triathlon in beautiful Botetourt County, Virginia. The Buchanan Tri is a great triathlon for beginners but is also challenging for experienced triathletes. We're now in our 9th year! Buchanan is the gateway to amazing outdoor recreation experiences, including miles of national forest trails, the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway/Peaks of Otter, and Natural Bridge State Park. Buchanan maintains its small-town charm, while having great amenities, including shopping, coffee shops, and restaurants. There's also a good chance the Beaverdam Sunflower Festival will be in full swing, so bring your family and spend the weekend with us!

One of Virginia's Scenic Rivers, the James is the centerpiece of the Upper James River Water Trail. Looking for lodging or other things to do in Botetourt County? We've got you covered!

No kayak? No problem. A rental kayak can be reserved from Twin River Outfitters.

*Note: Rental fee includes life jacket, paddle, and kayak transport to the Springwood boat landing.

Click here for all the 2023 RACE DETAILS (last updated 9/4/23 -- we'll update throughout the summer of 2024).

Registration: $75 before 5/1; $85 5/1 to 8/9; $95 after 8/9

The Swag: Participants will receive a race t-shirt (guaranteed if registered by 8/25) and post-race food. Top finishers will receive unique awards and serious braggin' rights!

Start: Buchanan Town Park, 2 p.m. We recommend you transport your kayak to the Springwood Boat Landing on your way to the park. We will have volunteers at Springwood beginning at 11:30. Packet pick-up and on-site race registration will be at the park from noon to 1:30.  

Ride -- 13 miles through rolling country roads, ending at the Springwood boat landing  upstream from Buchanan.​​ A gpx file of the bike route is available. Email us at muddysquirrelinfo@gmail.com and we'll send it to you. We'll also include it in the pre-race email sent out a week or so before the race.

River -- 5 miles down the James River from the Springwood boat landing to the the boat ramp at Twin River Outfitters. It's a beautiful, easy paddle -- unless you are racing!  Click here for the river map (the Tri section is on Map 3). 

Sept 7, 2024 -- 2 p.m. 

2 mile road run + 13 mile road bike + 5 mile kayak = 20 miles of adventure!


(540) 797-0217
Living better by adventuring in Virginia's Blue Ridge and beyond.

Finish: Buchanan Town Park where there will be food for you and a cool finisher's medal. Please pick up your bike at Springwood ASAP after you finish. We'll have volunteers at Springwood until 30 minutes after the last racer finishes.  

Note: ​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 (cycling leg will be lengthened by approximately 4 miles). Current river levels can be viewed here.

Refunds: We cannot offer refunds for this event, although we can work with you to transfer your registration in certain situations.

Please share your training updates and pictures with us on our Facebook page!  Be sure to tag your posts #RunRideRiver.

More results:






One of Virginia's best triathlons!

Check out these GoPro videos of parts of the cycling course: Lithia Rd, Preese Rd descent, Davis Run climb, descent to Springwood boat ramp.

Muddy Squirrel

Run -- 2 miles through town streets; you'll cut through the grass into the park for the last 100 meters, go through the start/finish, then head to the bike transition. **Note: While there is plenty of space for your bike and equipment in the transition area, we do not provide bike racks. Click here for plans for a simple DIY rack if you want to bring your own!