Start your paddle within miles of where the mighty James River starts in Botetourt County, then undertake an epic day on a Virginia Scenic River as you navigate multiple Class I and Class II rapids (along with sections of flatwater) on your way to the finish in Buchanan, 25.7 river miles away. A 13K option is also available. Learn more about the Upper James River Water Trail here.

**Note: high water levels at this time of year are possible. If water levels on race day are forecast to be over 5.0 feet, (check water levels here) the race will be rescheduled for May 7. Put both dates on your calendar. No refunds or deferrals will be offered if racers can't attend on May 7. In the event of high water on May 7th, the race will be cancelled for 2022. Participants will have the option of a deferral to the 2023 event or a 50% refund.

START/FINISH: The marathon starts at the Gala Public Boat Ramp off Route 220 north of Eagle Rock (river mile 11.3). The 13K starts at Twin River Outfitters' Horseshoe Bend Campground (river mile 29.1). The finish for both distances is the Twin River Outfitters Ramp in Buchanan (river mile 37.0).

Click here for a river map.

TEAM SIZE: For safety reasons, BOTH the marathon and the 13K will be team events. No solo competitors will be allowed. Here are the team categories to choose from:

  • tandem canoe (male, female, or mixed) (racing or recreational)
  • tandem kayak (male, female, or mixed) (racing or recreational)
  • two solo kayaks who remain together for the entire route (male, female, or mixed) (racing or recreational)

A limited number of recreational boats are available for rent from Twin River Outfitters.

MANDATORY CHECK POINT (MARATHON): All team members must check in at the Horseshoe Bend Campground (river mile 29.1) Water and snacks will be available. Marathon teams must check in by 2 p.m. to be allowed to continue.

MANDATORY GEAR LIST: PFD for both participants, water, dry bag containing emergency blanket, first aid kit, food, and fully charged cell phone (list subject to modification before race day).

SHUTTLE TO THE START: The start at Gala is a 30+ minute drive from the finish at Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan. Ideally, teams should have a vehicle at each location. A limited number of racers can be shuttled to the start in a bus provided by Twin River Outfitters the morning of the race for an extra fee. Details to follow. No shuttles will be available after the race.  


Marathon: $160/team through 3/1; $180/team 3/2 to 4/1; $200/team after 4/1

13K: $120/team through 3/1; $140/team 3/2 to 4/1; $160/team after 4/1

Registration includes a t-shirt, post-race food, and fully-stocked aid station at Horseshoe Bend (marathon).

James River Canoe Marathon & 13K

April 30, 2022 -- 8 a.m. start (marathon); 13K start time TBA

High Water date: May 7, 2022

Muddy Squirrel