What a cool event! Instead of swimming, the water portion of the event features kayaking.
First you run eight miles over hill and down dale to the new river.
Then you paddle your kayak furiously four miles downstream to Todd Island.
After which you bicycle twelve miles up winding country roads to a devilishly difficult mountain, which you ascend to 4,071 feet and descend at breakneck speed for seven more miles to the finish.
FROM THE RACE ORGANIZERS
The Rocky Knob Triathlon is no stroll in the park. You will start by running eight miles on paved and almost paved roads down, down a scenic route to the historic New River, which has been around for five hundred million years or so. Your route takes you over moderate hills and narrow bridges, crossing creeks that feed crops and critters on small farms, then flattens out at Wahoo’s Landing, where you will pick up your own (or somebody’s) kayak.
The New River awaits you with rocks, swirling pools, and whatever water level late summer brings to the event. You will have to get out and walk at least once over a low-water bridge, hauling your own (or somebody else’s) kayak with you. Observers will be in and along the New River and at low water bridge to ensure kayaker safety.
You will beach your boat at Todd Island, where you will pick up your mountain bike. You will work your way for twelve miles up, up the New River Valley to Highway 421. Your grueling finish will take you up Rocky Knob, a park built for bikers, switching back and forth on the west face to the top and back down again to the Watauga County Fairgrounds, where you will end as you began.
Preparation begins with packet pick-up at the Watauga County Fairgrounds, eight miles east of Boone off Roby Greene Road, on Friday afternoon. After that you will secure your kayak and your mountain bike by 7 PM. How’s that? You will tie down your kayak at Wahoo’s Landing, then your bike at Todd Island. You will be given a claim check for each. Your bike and kayak will be safe overnight and during the meet, but you will need your checks on site to claim them.
On Saturday morning be at The Fairgrounds by 6:45 AM. You will stagger-start your run at either 7 or 7:15 AM. Once you have reached the New River, stage two begins. When you reach the river, you must launch your own kayak. Half way down the course you will need to portage over the low-water bridge. After another two-mile run you will reach Todd Island. Take the left fork, pull your kayak out of the water, and pick up your mountain bike.
You will ride the marked route back to the Fair Grounds and across Highway 421 at the stoplight. There you will turn left to Rocky Knob Park and complete the seven-mile trail, up and down, returning to the starting point to finish your run. Timing your run begins and ends here and will be available for the complete run only, and not for segments.