Racing an Ultramarathon With a Donkey: Meet Colorado’s State Sport

You might think Colorado’s state sport is skiing. You’d be wrong. Instead, it involves big miles and an ass.

Racing An Ultra-Marathon With A Donkey: Meet Colorado's State Sport

Burro racing is – well – unique. Many think it grew out of the gold mining era, in which miners would race to claims with their burro and gear.

Today burro racing has a small but dedicated following. The Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation has a seven-race schedule. The annual Pack Burro Racing Championship takes place in Fairplay, Colo., in July.

There are some interesting rules. For example, riding of the burro is not allowed. In fact, the human may carry the burro, but the burro may not carry the human.

In 2017, professional ultrarunners Max King and Ryan Sandes decided to travel to Colorado to compete in the 69th Annual Burro Days 30 Mile World Championship Pack Burro Race. After all, how hard could it be?

Turns out, it wasn’t all that easy.