Running the Rockies — With a Donkey!

0
359

The most popular sports are baseball, football, basketball, and soccer. You also hear hockey, lacrosse, archery, and fencing in a conversation. But have you heard of a sport called Burro Racing?

The most popular sports are baseball, football, basketball, and soccer. You also hear hockey, lacrosse, archery, and fencing in a conversation. But have you heard of a sport called Burro Racing? If you have, you are one of few.

 

Burro Racing is a somewhat strange sport but easy enough to understand. You run anywhere from 5 to 29 miles up and down the Rocky Mountains while dragging a donkey, otherwise known as a burro, on a leash. It sounds weird but people love it and are trying to make it the official state sport of Colorado. Why? Zach Martin, a 23-year-old burro racer from Boulder, says it fits Colorado's state history. In the olden days, if miners found gold they would have to run down to town with their donkey to lay a claim on the area. Town could be sometimes as far as thirty miles. They had to get there fast to beat other miners, and they couldn't ride their donkey because it was so full of mining equipment, so they had to drag it all the way.

 

Burro Racing was founded as a sport in 1949 to show the history of Colorado. Now a group of determined people are trying to make the official state sport for the same reason. Tom Massey, a state representative, thinks it's a good idea. He is currently trying to pass a bill that will make it the official state sport. There is already an official winter sport, which is skiing and snowboarding, but they plan to make this the official #1 state sport, not just for summer, but for all seasons. Rep. Massey says this as he talks about its importance as a state sport: "The history of mining and pioneering is an important factor in it."

 

It is also a fun sport. In a recent five mile race in Idaho Springs, there were two people from Canada, a 9-year-old girl and a 12-year old boy competing along with about 30 others. The 12-year old boy, Cole Miller from Colorado Springs, says the best way to train for it is to just get a donkey and run with it. He finished 13th for the men and 18th in total, beating many people older than him. The ones who finished in last probably just had a stubborn donkey. Some donkeys are scared of anything they don't know about and when they see a shadow or even the finish line they think it's a cliff and they don't want to cross it, making it a challenge for the runners to get it to cross the line. They push the donkeys, hit them gently with a rope, pull on the leash or yell, "Move it!" The donkeys can weigh up to 800 pounds and also must carry 33 pounds of mining equipment to compete.

 

All in all, Burro Racing is a good possible state sport but even without the title of state sport Burro Racing will entertain all.