The trail run consists of a TRAIL MARATHON and a TRAIL HALF MARATHON along the Buffalo River Trail. Taking place on Saturday, April 27, the half is an out and back between Dillard's Ferry and Spring Creek. The Marathon passes over the Spring Creek Rd. and continues through the South Maumee section for another 2 miles and is also an out and back.
The BIATHLON is a 6.8 mile trail run on the Buffalo River Trail from Dillard's Ferry to Spring Creek followed by a 4.6 mile canoe/kayak race from Spring Creek back to Dillard's Ferry taking place on Sunday, April 28. Biathlon participants may bring their own kayaks or rent. Either option is available through registration. Those who rent will find their vessel waiting for them at the transition area tagged with a number corresponding to their bibs. All fees have been built into the registration pricing.
Additionally, the night of Saturday the 27th, there will be packet pick up, a dinner, and live music at Buffalo Point!
HOW THIS WILL ALL GO DOWN:
TRAIL RUNS are pretty basic. Both runs will start at Dillard's Ferry / Hwy 14 Bridge and take off towards Spring Creek. At Spring Creek, Half Marathon participants will turn around and return to finish back at Hwy 14 Bridge. Marathon runners will pass through Spring Creek, pass through Maumee and continue another 2 miles before turning around for the return.
BIATHLON participants have streamlined process to follow. On race day (Sunday), athletes will take their mark at the Hwy 14 Bridge and run the Buffalo River Trail to Spring Creek where vessels will be waiting in transition. Athletes will strap on their PFDs and take off down stream to Hwy 14 Bridge where the finish line is on the water.
Be fair warned! The Buffalo National River's water levels will vary dependent upon regional weather. If water levels are considered to be high, the National Park Service will dictate that the river is too dangerous for event usage and we will cancel the paddling portion of the event. Refunds will not be issued if the paddle portion is canceled.
For those bringing their own vessels, boats will be dropped off at packet pickup at Buffalo Point with the outfitters who will then shuttle your boats to the transition area at Spring Creek. Vessels will be labeled with corresponding bib numbers. Athletes are not permitted to self-shuttle their vessels to Spring Creek. This rule is in place for several reasons, namely to alleviate congestion on the tiny Spring Creek Rd. and for security. All boats taken to transition will be guarded overnight. We may use vicious dogs or even cub scouts to watch over property.
Renting athletes will find that their vessels will be magically labeled with corresponding bib numbers at transition when arriving at Spring Creek. PFDs and paddles will be alongside the boats for use.
TEAMS vs. RELAY Options:
TEAMS are defined as two athletes who will run the trail together and finish as a team together in their own tandem kayak or rented canoe. Teams who are renting will be given a canoe as tandem kayaks are not available as rental.
RELAY is defined as two athletes where one of which runs the trail and passes a baton to the other athlete who will complete the float and cross the finish line.
SHUTTLE vs. RENTAL Options:
SHUTTLE - This is for those who are bringing their own vessel to the biathlon. Athletes will drop off their vessel, paddles and PFDs at packet pickup. River outfitters will transport boats to the transition area. Boats will be stored and secured.
INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO TAKE THEIR OWN BOATS TO TRANSITION AREA.
Those who attempt to, or do, bring their own boats to transition area will receive a DQ and will not receive a refund.
RENTAL - Those who are not bringing their own boat must use this option. This is a higher fee than the other option as we are renting boats from local river outfitters. Your boat will be waiting for you with paddles and a PFD at transition.
Teams who are renting will be given a canoe. Tandem kayaks are not available as rentals.
ABOUT THE RACE:
Cut-Off Times - The Marathon & Half will start at 7:00 am and have a finishing cut-off time of 3:00 pm (8 hours). We haven't finished dissecting the course for cut-off times at different checkpoints, we'll post that as soon as we know.
The Biathlon is a little more lenient as we want everyone to be safe on both the trail and water. We feel that everyone should be completed by 2:00 pm (6 hours). All athletes should be at the Spring Creek Road Checkpoint by 11:00 am.
Trail Technicality - The trail is single track and should be considered difficult for most runners. With breath taking views upon the bluffs and treking down to creek beds, the course offers some great elevation gains across challenging single track!
Half Marathon will turn around at the Spring Creek Turnaround and the Marathon will go all the way out to the South Maumee Turnaround.
Biathlon participants will follow the Buffalo River Trail from Dillard's Ferry heading south to Spring Creek Road, then take the road into the Spring Creek Campground where boats will be staged for the second part of the course.
Buffalo Point Campground Pavilion #3
Packet pickup for those running the Trail Marathon or Half on Saturday
Buffalo Point Campground Pavilion #3
Dillard's Ferry / Buffalo Point
Dillard's Ferry / Buffalo Point
The Buffalo Point Campground accepts reservations up to six months in advance. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Loops B, C, and D have water and electrical amenities and are suitable for tents or RVs. Loops A and E are strictly first come, first served. There are five walk-in tent sites (A - E) that are reservable as well. All reservations are available through www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Sites with water and electric are $22/night and walk-in tent sites are $16/night. You can learn more about the Buffalo Point Campground at the park's website or by calling the Buffalo Point Ranger Station at 870-449-4311.
Check-out time: 12:00 pm
Check-in time: 1:00 pm
Quiet hours: 10:00 pm to 6:00 am
Generator hours: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
6 persons maximum per site
Do not reserve additional campsites for others
Keep all vehicles on roads and parking areas
Camp only at marked sites
Use dead and down wood for campfires
Do not damage trees or shrubs
Keep pets on leash and do not leave them unattended
Each day's event limited to 200 participants. Onsite registration is not available.
Fair warning, the Biathlon will sell-out at leasrt a month out!
The Buffalo National River Biathlon benefits the North Central Arkansas Master Naturalists who provide an abundance of services "Working to keep Arkansas in its Natural State!" Not only are the North Central Arkansas Master Naturalists the beneficiary of this fund raising event, they are also very proud partners of the Buffalo National River. The NCAMNs are responsible for a large portion of the Buffalo River Trail maintenance, not only for this event, but throughout the entire year.
The Partners formed because of common interests in the Buffalo River. Our purposes, as stated in our mission statement, are dedicated to the promotion, appreciation, preservation and protection of the Buffalo River. The goals of the Partners are to provide volunteer and financial resources to Buffalo National River which will assist with a variety of projects to enhance facilities, improve visitor experiences and preserve the unique natural and cultural features of the Buffalo National River. Click the logo to learn more
The Lower Buffalo River area is the best place to vacation in the Ozarks. We offer affordable cabins and services like floating and fishing guiding to make your vacation memorable. Let us be your guide to the area. We will help you make your visit a success.
Things to do are affordable and many attractions and activities are free, all are nearby and keep travel costs down.
Click the logo for a short list of activities popular with their visitors.