Done!!! Check that one off the bucket list, I ran my first pack burro race. And add a few more onto that list, I am SO ready to go do another one … or two … or three … or …
Donkeys have become a routine part of my family’s life. The kids and I are regulars at Longhopes and try to volunteer weekly. I’ve got a great ranch where my running buddy Guinness, aka Boo Boo, lives. The only issue is finding the time to balance it all. But things have a way of working out.
I’ve had a large focus on trail running lately. I also got a FAB-U-LOUS new road bike - carbon frame magnificence. So when I get out life is truly, truly grand.
Today was The Georgetown Colorado Pack Burro Race. The course is roughly 8 miles of town, dirt roads, and single track trails out and back to the city of Empire.
We met up with Ross and Kay from Two Sweets Ranch. I had lots of wonderful co-runners with Ross’ crew - and we had two of our Longhopes residents, Pirate and Bliss, running today - WOOT!! My co-Diva Jessica and her husband were also running with another ranch. Add my family, parents, and big sister Susan and I was in fine company, indeed.
|33 lbs of old timey goodness|
We registered - very informal for us 49 running teams - and got our gear weighed in. Each mining pack must have 33 lbs between saddle, blanket, gear, gold pan, shovel, and pick axe. None of the weight can include our personal items. Then we got our buddies all geared up and headed into town for our big start.
|Relaxing with Boo|
|Getting my little man outfitted|
|My Badass Mother Runner shirt next to a bunch of badass' asses.|
Instructions were given prior to go time. I tried to listen, especially to the directions as the course was marked with flour and little more. I SOOOO didn’t want to get off track.
|The kids and me heading to the start|
|The A Wave - spoiler - those minis in front WON the race. Size does NOT matter!|
And off we went!!! I was prepared for a sprint start as most donkeys start fast with the crowd. But not my buddy Boo. He’s as cool headed as they come. They call him Boo Boo based on the Yogi Bear cartoons - he is so cautious and has a look about him that clearly states “I just don’t know about this …” And that is why I picked him as my companion.
So we were at a lovely and steady trot as we wove through town, under I-70, and hit a dirt frontage road and the first hills. Boo was doing beautifully. Upon hitting the hills he opted to walk. I tried to harrumph him as best I could but he was steadfast. He seemed to be telling me to chill out, he was the expert and I the novice. At the top of the hills he would continue his pretty little trot. Smooth and steady. What a good little man.
By mile two we hit a single track trail all uphill with switchbacks. Up to this point we were averaging 9:30-10:30 miles. Once things got steep it was walk time. And I was just fine with that. There were lots of scree on a steep edge. Boo knew what he was doing and we carried on.
Mile three we returned to a nice dirt road and lots of downhill. Boo picked up the pace and we trotted along our way to town. The weather was lovely, the view magnificent. It was a wonderful, wonderful day just to be a resident of the planet Earth. I happily zoned out to the clopping of Boo’s hooves as we let the world slip by.
About a third of a mile from the turn around we began passing the teams from Two Sweets. Naturally, this worried Boo as donkeys are pack animals. He definitely didn’t like seeing his pack leave him. Not that this encouraged him to pick up the speed - which I would have liked. He slowed down and watched them pass, then tried to turn around.
Naughty, Boo. I kept him moving forward but lost our nice trot. Back to walking. But, hey, we were still moving.
The next mile we settled in with about 5 other teams. All the donkeys weren’t particularly interested in running. It was a pretty funny sight to see us all harrumphing our buddies into a trot. Boo was getting annoyed with me. When he gets annoyed he starts to hum. When he starts humming you’d better listen. Push a donkey too hard and he will shut down on you … and be prepared for a loooong wait by the side of the road.
So I sweet talked him along the way … kept hup, hupping him, reminding him how devastatingly handsome he was, called him every nickname for Boo I could come up with, and singing Badfinger’s ‘Baby Blue’ as ‘Baby Boo.’ Sure, I would have loved to be running, but I was so very, VERY happy just be be out there with my new best friend.
Back to steep downhill on the singletrack. Boo was careful, surefooted, and picked up the pace. Still walking on the uphills, but clipping along just fine on the flats and downhills.
Back into town and Boo put on the brakes. There were a lot of cars heading into Georgetown and he wasn’t too happy about that. He tried to turn around twice to head back to the trail. It took some wrangling but I got him to move forward. At this point my friend Jessica and her donkey Jack caught up with us - looking great!!
We got off the busy road into the back road to return to town. Boo was trotting again as I passed my parents. Then we came to a bridge and … nope. Back to walking. We were less than quarter of mile from the finish and I went all Calamity Jane on his adorable little butt. We got running towards the finish and were looking pretty studly.
|Heading back into town|
Then Boo saw all the other donkeys across the finish line and decided his work was done. So he decided to walk to the finish … and then I had to drag him over the finish line. Looking at the pictures I swear he was grinning. Silly, silly boy!!
|Sprinting to the finish ...|
|Walking to the finish ...|
|Shoving to the finish ...|
|Dragging to the finish ...|
I was on cloud nine as I regrouped with the rest of my family and friends then we waited for the rest of our finishers. We managed to find some shortbread cookies as a treat for Boo’s hard work. There was never a more appreciative little donkey.
|Why isn't anyone playing 'We Are the Champions' for us?|
And now my day is done. I am happily tired and a little sun drunk. I’m feeling great. Happy Memorial Day from me and Hee Haw from Boo Boo!!!