CLAUDVILLE, Va. — A normally serene section of the Dan River tucked away in Patrick County will come alive with competitors and spectators Saturday when the Kibler Valley River Run is held.
This will be the 36th-annual running of the event sponsored and operated by the Red Bank Ruritan Club in Claudville as a fundraiser for a wide range of community needs.
It includes competition in various canoe and kayak events.
“It’s over 30 categories,” Ruritan Club spokesman Tom Bishop said Wednesday of the breakdown that includes single and double and youth-adult competition in the various races.
The Kibler Valley River Run tends to draw participants from throughout the region.
Bishop guessed that 150 to 200 competitors will be on hand Saturday, when registration begins at around 8:30 a.m. and the racing between 11:30 a.m. and noon.
The Pinnacles Hydro Plant in Kibler Valley, which is owned by the city of Danville, provides the water flow on the day of the run to greatly increase the velocity and depth of the normally placid Dan River.
Category II and III rapids result. These range from easy rapids with smaller waves and clear channels that are obvious without scouting, with some maneuvering possibly required, to ones with high, irregular waves and narrow passages that often require precise maneuvering.
Organizers say that what results each July is “an excellent event for water sports fans and photographers,” which Bishop says also has become a kind of social gathering.
“A lot of people have places along the river,” he said, where they hold picnics and barbecues during the timed races.
“They make a big day of it just sitting along the river,” Bishop added. “There’s so many people on the water that day.”
Rustic camping is available for run participants, all of whom will receive a commemorative T-shirt for this year’s event. Shirts also are to be sold to the general public. Concessions including hamburgers and hot dogs will be available.
All proceeds from the event go to the Red Bank Ruritan Club, which has about 30 members, to help it meet many needs in the community.
Bishop mentioned aid to victims of illnesses, summer camp scholarships for youths, providing supplies for Blue Ridge Elementary School in Ararat, a Christmas program targeting needy children and more.
The river run also is sponsored by many businesses along with the Patrick County tourism department.
It can be accessed from Mount Airy by taking N.C. 103 to Claudville and turning left onto Route 773, also known as Ararat Highway, and then right on Kibler Valley Road and following it for about four miles.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.